Finals day was kick started by the 2003 playoffs for the age category’s four competitions. Northern Ireland had yet another goal filled and entertaining game against Mervue United as they beat the Galway side by four goals to two in the Cup Playoff. The Plate Playoff saw Kildare go to penalties once more as they drew one-all with Athlone, although this time they triumphed four-two in the shootout.
The Shield Playoff saw Clare take the spoils as they defeated Longford while the Bowl Playoff saw Roscommon beat the NECSL by the slender margin of one goal. The Cup Final for the 2001 Club group saw the Republic of Ireland Future Developers squad face Cavan/Monaghan and after a tense enough first half between the sides, the national team found two goals late on to secure the accolades.
The Cup Playoff for the same age category saw Longford and Nenagh go to penalties after a goalless draw, with the Tipperary side emerging victorious. Another game that ended in a shootout was the Bowl Playoff between Finn Harps and Kildrum Tigers as Harps saw off the Tigers by a finish of 5-4.
In the 2001 Club Plate Final, Limerick DS saw off the challenge of the NECSL by a two goal margin while the Bowl Final ended with Mervue United completing a spectacular journey, as they came through a playoff and semifinal, to beat another Salthill Devon side by two goals to nil. The Plate Playoff saw Kerry edge a tight game against Sligo/Leitrim by two goals to one.
The 2003 Elite Cup Final saw Sligo/Leitrim come up against Donegal and with an early goal in the first half, it was all the former needed to take home the big prize of that age category as they keep it tight at the back to prevent Donegal equalizing. The Bowl Final of the same category saw the NDSL win one-nil in a close match against Carlow.
The 2001 Elite competition saw Ipswich Town come up against Cherry Orchard in the Cup Final in a re-match of yesterday’s fixture but saw a slightly different result as the Orchard ran out three-nil winners and were bestowed the trophy for a great performance. The Playoff of the same age category saw Leeds United face the Republic of Ireland Development side again and the national side got another five goals with Leeds replying with just the one goal.
The first two games of the 2003/04 saw penalties end both contests as the Cup Playoff had Athlone get past Galway by 5-4 in the shootout after a one-all draw while the Plate Playoff had a crazy finish as Colga won out by a scoreline of 8-7 in the penalties as they drew with Salthill Devon one-all in normal time.
In the last of the 2003 Elite games, Cavan/Monaghan defeated Kerry by one goal to nil in the Shield Final as North Tipperary beat West Cork by a narrow margin of just the one goal in the Plate Final. The first of the 2003 Premier matches saw Foyle Harps overcome the last of the Salthill Devon sides by a two goal margin in the Cup Playoff.
The 2003/04 Boys finished up with Mayo triumphing in the Cup Final by putting three past Carlow and conceding just the one in reply. Tulla and Mervue had a scoreless draw during normal time in their Plate Final before goalkeeper saves and missed penalties saw Tulla eventually end up victors with a 4-3 scoreline on penalties.
Colorado Rapids finished up their tournament with another win as they dispatched Finn Harps by two goals in the Cup Final while Kerry beat Roscommon by four goals to one. WWEC scored a late goal, had is disallowed, and followed up with a replica to seal the win over WWEC in the Plate Playoff.
So that’s it at the Drom, Ben Knight of Ipswich Town was the Player of the Tournament in the end and we’ve ten interviews done with various coaches of the teams here at the tournament. A big thanks to the referees throughout the tournament, who are people too you know, as they’ve kept a good standard and been a joy to be with outside of the tournament too. Not one red card either. Fair play indeed.
Ipswich Town 0–3 Cherry Orchard
Rep. of Ireland Development squad 5–1 Leeds United
Rep. of Ireland Future Developers Squad 2–0 Cavan/Monaghan
Longford Town 0-0 Nenagh AFC (Nenagh won 5-4 on penalties)
Limerick DS 2–0 NECSL
Sligo/Leitrim 1-2 Kerry
Mervue United 2-0 Salthill Devon 02
Finn Harps 0–0 Kildrum Tigers (Finn Harps won 5-4 on penalties)
Sligo/Leitrim 1-0 Donegal
Mervue United 2–4 Northern Ireland
North Tipperary 1–0 West Cork
Athlone 1-1 Kildare (Kildare won 4-2 on penalties)
Carlow 0–1 NDSL
Roscommon 1-0 NECSL
Cavan/Monaghan 1–0 Kerry
Clare 2-1 Longford
Finn Harps 0–2 Colorado Rapids
Salthill Devon 0–2 Foyle Harps
Galway 0–1 WWEC
Roscommon 1-4 Kerry
Mayo 04 3-1 Carlow
Galway 1–1 Athlone (Athlone won 5-4 on penalties)
Tulla FC 0–0 Mervue United (Tulla won 4-3 on penalties)
Colga 1–1 Salthill Devon (Colga won 8-7 on penalties)
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