A little magic from the Monaghan Schools at the SPAR 5s Finals Day









Monaghan students show their class in SPAR FAI Primary School 5s County Finals Day




Monaghan United FC, Gortakeegan played host to the Monaghan County Finals of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme on Wednesday, April 5.




The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country.  152 Students from 19 schools participated in the Monaghan Finals day, after coming through the group stages a month ago. Six schools progressed to the Ulster Finals.




The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 4 passionate schools competing for the title. In a tight group Scoil Bhride, Mullaghrafferty emerged victorious in a group which included Corcaghan, Aughnafarcon and Broomfield NS.




The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling section, with four quality schools fighting it out for County honours. Scoil Rois from Carrickmacross proved worthy winners, which also included strong teams in St. Tiernach’s NS, Clones, Annyalla and Gaelscoil Ultain.




The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was a straight Final between St. Joseph Boy’s, Carrickmacross and 2014 National winners Scoil Mhuire na Buachailli from Castleblaney. In this occasion it was the Carrick School who emerged victorious on a 6-3 score-line.




The winners will now progress to the Ulster Finalson May 3 in Monaghan United FC, Gortakeegan.




Participation in the girls division of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme reached an all-time high this year with 11,272 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered nationwide.




In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Drumgosset NS claimed their first ever title in the competition to the delight of their vocal support, with victories over Glaslough NS, Tydavnet and Broomfield.




In the Girls ‘B’ Cup final, for medium sized schools, regular winners Gaelscoil Ultain sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Annyalla National School by a 1-0 win in a play off after three teams finished level on points. Gaelscoil Lorgain and Mullaghrafferty.




St. Louis GNS, Monaghan Town progressed from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools.




The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme competition has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has 28,256 participants from 1,483 schools involved this year, a 19% surge from last year.




The competition is run across six divisions, ensuring that schools of all sizes are catered for. Boys and girls are encouraged to play together but there is a separate competition for boys and girls dependent on school enrolment numbers.




Fergus McDaid, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our third year with title sponsors SPAR and the competition has grown yet again and now firmly holds the title of the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. SPAR’s ongoing support, both nationally and at a local level, has ensured the ongoing success of the programme and given Monaghan children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. The programme encourages children to become involved in soccer at an early age and emphasizes the fun aspect of the sport. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 31 in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2017”.




Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said, “As a community based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of primary schools’ soccer in association with the FAI. SPAR local retailers around the county have been getting behind the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme, which encourages children to get involved in soccer in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”




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




                                                                Winner                                                 Runner Up


‘A’ Cup | Small Schools |                 Mullaghrafferty NS                            Broomfield NS


‘B’ Cup | Medium Schools |            Scoil Rois NS                                       Annyalla NS         


‘C’ Cup | Large Schools |                 St Joseph Boys                                   Scoil Mhuire na Buachailli


Girls ‘A’ Cup                                        Drumgosset NS                                  Tydavnet NS


Girls ‘B’ Cup                                        Gaelscoil Ultain NS                            Annyalla NS


Girls ‘C’ Cup                                        St Louis GNS                                        No runner up








SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme










South Leinster: April 25,                Bunclody AFC, Wexford (Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow)


Mid Leinster:     April 26,                Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Laois (Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny)


North Leinster: April 27,                 MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath (Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford)






Ulster Final:        May 03,                Monaghan United FC, Gortakeegan, Monaghan


Connacht Final: May 04,                Solar 21 Park, Milebush, Castlebar, Mayo


Munster Final:   May 10,                 TBC


Leinster Final:   May 11,                   MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath






National Final: May 31,                    Aviva Stadium, Dublin