Last Friday our Year 11 football team were crowned U15 Belfast Cup Champions after a fantastic performance against Boys Model. The boys were excited on the morning of the final and as the stadium began to fill with both sets of supporters a few pre match nerves began to creep in.

Laurelhill found themselves a goal down 2 minutes into the final, an excellent delivery from a corner was headed home by the Boys Model midfielder, to give Boys Model a 1-0 lead. It would be typical of teams to crumble and collapse in a cup final after such an early setback but there is nothing typical of this Laurelhill side. If anything, the early goal settled all pre match nerves, as Billy N, Billy B and Jay B started to get on the ball and dictate the game. As the half progressed, Laurelhill grew in confidence. Max T hold up play was excellent, bringing James H and Harry D into the game. Billy N and Billy B broke up the Boys Model attack and Jay B drove Laurelhill forward. Billy B and Jay B were restricted to long range attempts, but it was inverted winger James H who almost had Laurelhill level. Great defending by Isaac and Spencer, allowed Jay B to switch the play to James. James cut inside and smashed his effort off the bar, much to the relief of Boys Model.

With the first half coming to a close, Laurelhill knew they needed to capitalise on the chances they were creating. On the stroke of half time, James H corner found the head of Isaac, who’s blocked header fell to Harry D who made no mistake and smashed in the equaliser. Half time 1-1 and momentum was with Laurelhill.

The second half started similarly to the first, Boys Model tried to take control of the game, but Billy N and Billy B were determined to break up any attacks and prevent them from getting into a rhythm. From the 5th minute of the second half Jay B started to become more involved in nearly every Laurelhill attack, the work rate of Max to pressure the Boys Model centre backs into rushing their passes was superb, allowing Jay B to pick up the second ball in midfield. Endless running from fullbacks Noah and Spencer meant that Jay B and Billy N always had an extra option out wide. Laurelhill took the lead through Jay B 20 minutes into the second half, an excellent defensive header from Reuben allowed Billy N to pick up the second ball, a couple of quick interchanges with Max and James, allowed the ball to find Jay B. Jay drove at the Boys Model defence, who struggled to stop him, Jay powered his way past two defenders before striking his effort low and hard across the keeper, where the shot clipped the post and nestled in the corner of the net. The Laurelhill supporters, who had been singing nonstop throughout the game, erupted!

5 minutes later Laurelhill added a third, another dazzling, driving run from Jay allowed him to get past two defenders before his shot cannoned off the crossbar. Following the shot in was Harry D, who slotted home his second of the game, 3-1. The final 15 minutes saw Laurelhill raise their game to another level, true grit, desire and determination from all the boys saw them stand firm against the wave of Boys Model attacks. Injuries to James and Jay 12 minutes from time saw Joel and Jamie introduced, who slotted in perfectly to the side. With 5 minutes left, Boys Model launched a long, looping ball into the box, goalkeeper Lewis D was unsighted by the sun, lost track of the ball as it found its way into the back of the net, 3-2, which set up a very nervous end to the game. Boys Model won a free kick from the kick-off and launched another long ball high on top of Lewis. This time Lewis made sure of his handling and held on to the ball well, with supporters, parents and coaching staff letting out a huge cheer! With Boys Model throwing more players forward, Laurelhill saw a chance to counter, a 4 on 2 break saw Billy N drive at the defence, play in Spencer who was brought down, an excellent advantage from the referee saw Harry collect the ball and shoot narrowly wide, with what would have been his hattrick.

Despite Boys Model’s efforts, the colossal centre back pairing of Isaac and Reuben refused to be beaten! Isaac and Rueben controlled the back line and communicated well with their midfield. The three minutes of added time were up, one last attack from Boys Model was cleared well by Isaac. A final glance at his watch, the full-time whistle sounded, queue the pandemonium in the stands amongst supporters and parents.

The Year 11 football team are Belfast Cup Champions! A fantastic team performance from a side who have shown courage, determination and desire throughout the Belfast Cup.  The attitude of the boys was exemplary and were a credit to themselves, their families and to the school. Mr Smyth and Mr Lyons are incredibly proud of their efforts.

A massive thank you to all parents who have helped this year and given tremendous support to the boys, to all the Laurelhill pupils who cheered and roared the boys over the line and to all the staff who have supported the boys this year.

Man of the match was incredibly hard to pick as every player had an outstanding game, but it was decided that Harry D’s two goals and his work-rate off the ball was superb, so he picks up the MOTM award.


U15 Belfast Cup Final

Full Time – Laurelhill 3-2 Boys Model

Goal scorers: Harry D x2 and Jay B

MOTM: Harry D


Mr Smyth

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