A Team first in Midnight Street finals

PORTADOWN-BASED players finished in the honours during the recent Midnight Street Soccer League finals.

The A Team claimed top spot in Lurgan following the eight-team showpiece tournament organised by Craigavon Borough Council’s sports development department.

The five-a-side schedule featured boys and girls from 14-17 years old - with play across six weeks at five venues before the 28-team entry list was reduced to eight finalists.

The A Team defeated Killicomaine Blues in a penalty shoot-out to secure a spot in the final. Moyraverty - who came out on top over Lurgan’s Unreal Madrid during the semi-finals - finished as overall runners-up.

“This programme is an incredibly worthwhile project held at Multi-Use Games Areas in disadvantaged urban communities,” said the Mayor of Craigavon Councillor Alan Carson, following the trophy presentation. “It is providing a much-needed alternative for young people at a time when communities are most vulnerable to anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“To have had over 200 young people taking part in this scheme every Friday night over the weeks is outstanding and it was clear on the night of the final that everyone was having a fantastic time.

“Congratulations to all but, of course, in particular, to The A Team.”

  Players also took part in a Good Relations Coaching Camp designed to give young people from all sections of the community an opportunity to come together in a fun and safe environment.

A workshop was held to discuss and challenge attitudes and beliefs towards different cultures and religions.

Joining The A Team, Moyraverty, Killicomaine Blues and Unreal Madrid (Lurgan) were DDYWP, FC Tuga, Unreal Madrid (Portadown) and FC Twente One.

League play was held across six weeks at Lurgan Junior High School, Clan na Gael, Clonmeen MUGA, Churchill MUGA and Scotch Street MUGA.

The Midnight Street Soccer League is funded by the Department of Social Development’s Neighbourhood Renewal programme and Craigavon Community Safety Partnership.