Sligo Super Cup Outstanding Success

Sligo Super Cup 2019, played over three days at the Showgrounds last weekend, proved to be an outstanding success, with 16 top class games, 55 goals, and a fairy tale ending.

Huge crowds marvelled at the high standard of attractive and creative football as elite academies from across Ireland and the UK battled it out for the prestigious title.

In the end, the honours rested with the courageous Donegal Schoolboys League, who defied all the odds to defeat hotly fancied reigning champions, Dublin District Schoolboys League, in a thrilling final.

On their way to the final, Donegal had claimed the scalps of top rated academies Derby County and Aberdeen to justify their place as worthy Sligo Super Cup champions.

The local Sligo/Leitrim Schoolboys League also enjoyed an excellent tournament. They were unfortunate to go down by the only goal of the game to the DDSL before facing Leeds United in one of the best games of the weekend.

A highly impressive Leeds team raced into a three goal lead at the break, but the local lads produced a stunning second half revival, scoring twice late on and just narrowly missing out on securing a draw.

They had much better luck in their final group game, romping to a 3-0 win over Glenavon and then beating the Mayo League on penalties in the play-offs to secure a very creditable fifth place finish.

Among the stand-out games was the meeting of the DDSL and Leeds United, both knowing that victory would guarantee a place in the final. A terrifically entertaining game ended with the Dubs winning through by the odd goal in three.

In the other group, Aberdeen were favourites to advance after rattling in nine goals in victories over Derby County and Mayo, but they met their match against Donegal, with the Ulstermen coming from behind to record a shock 2-1 victory for a place in the final.

It left Leeds and Aberdeen playing off for 3rd and 4th place, with the Scottish side edging a tense contest by 2-1.

And so to the marvellous final showdown. With terrific atmosphere generated by the enthusiastic followers of both teams, the DDSL looked set for a three-in-a-row victory when they took a 1-0 half time lead. But Donegal refused to yield, equalising early in the second half and then surviving a massive onslaught from the Dubs as the game went into extra time.

With the sides still locked at the end of a breathtaking contest, a penalty shoot-out was required to seal the deal. The Donegal lads held their nerve to win 3-1 and so record a famous victory.

There was some consolation for the Dublin team when their multi-talented midfield player, Christopher Conlon was named player of the tournament.

A big innovation this year was the live streaming of eight of the matches on the Sligo Super Cup Facebook page by Full Time Productions, with big audiences tuning in all weekend.

Another unexpected treat for the young lads (and many of their parents!!) was the attendance of Westlife star, Nicky Byrne, who was there to support his son, Rocco, who played in goals for the DDSL.

Nicky kindly agreed to present the coveted trophy and medals to winners and runners-up, thus adding another feather in the cap for what proved to be an outstanding weekend of youth football.

Tournament Director, Packie Lynch, thanked all who helped to make the tournament such a huge successs.

“This was our third year and it proved to be the best tournament yet, with record attendances and positive feedback all round. We started with only a logo three years ago and now we have a brand. We are already planning for next year’s tournament and look forward to seeing the Sligo Super Cup continuing to grow in the years ahead,” he said.