PICTURES: Offaly youngsters show their class at FAI SPAR 5s qualifiers

Express Reporter

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Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore played host to the Offaly County qualifiers of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme from Monday, March 25 to Friday, March 29.

The SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country.

936 students from 41 schools participated in the Offaly County Qualifiers with 24 schools progressing to the county finals.

The ‘A’ Competition, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 20 passionate schools with St Patrick's NS, Clonbullogue, Scoil Mhuire Agus Chormaic, Clonlisk National School and St Broghans National School going through to the County Finals.

The ‘B’ Competition, for medium-sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 10 schools and 23 teams involved. Ballinagar National School, Tubber National School, Ballinamere National School and Mucklagh National School made it through to the finals day after a thrilling playoff.

The ‘C’ Competition, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between five very talented schools with 18 teams entering. Scoil Eoin Phóil II Naofa, Scoil Muire Banríon, Edenderry and two teams from Scoil Bhride BNS eventually came out on top of the large school’s divisions.

The winners will now progress to the Offaly Finals on April 11 in Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore.

The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were also held during the same week in Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore, where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.

In the Girls ‘A’ Competition, for small schools, Coolanarney National School, Cappagh National School, Clonlisk National School and St. Ciaran's National School all made it through to the finals day in what was a really exciting competition.

In the Girls ‘B’ Competition, for medium sized schools, Tubber National School, Scoil Sinchill and two teams from Mucklagh National School sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Ballinamere National School.

St Philomena's National School put in a fine display against Scoil Bhride Primary School to progress as champions of the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. St Philomena's finished off the tournament with a +4 goal difference over second placed
Scoil Bhride to win the Offaly finals and look in fine form heading into the Mid Leinster Finals on May 1.

The national finals take place in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on May 29.

Follow the action on social media via #SPAR5s or at www.faischools.ie and www.spar.ie