The 2013 Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup was officially opened by Mayor of Derry Martin O'Reilly yesterday following a parade of over 3500 players, officials and family members from Ebrington Square through Derry city centre to Guildhall Square.
And after the parade, there was a big upset with Carniny Youth beating Scottish Premier League club Hearts 2-1.
“This is a record year for the tournament with well over 200 teams — many have travelled from England, Scotland and America to take part,” said Hughes Insurance Derry Branch Manager Gareth Finlay, speaking at the parade.
“The tournament started in 1992 with only eight teams — what an achievement to see the competition become what it is today.
“The Foyle Cup team seamlessly organise hundreds of matches in less than a week.
“We wish every team the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the football stars of the future in action right here in Derry.”
Following the parade, day two saw a few surprises in the week’s scheduled 610 games.
Pride of place goes to Carniny Youth, in the Under 11 section, who had a hard fought 2-1 victory over Hearts.
Other results make Carniny the first team to qualify for tomorrow’s Foyle Cup quarter-finals.
Elsewhere at Under 11, Oak Athletic also grabbed a quarter-final place with wins over St Oliver Plunkett and Swilly Rovers.
In the Under 10 section, Glentoran Colts, Foyle Harps and Oxford Sunnyside had impressive wins, suggesting they will be in the knockout stages.
Ballinamallard beat Ballymoney 3-1 in the Under 14 section in torrential rain at Oakland.
There were impressive wins for Shankill Youth, Derry Colts and Dungannon United.
Meath won again to put themselves in prime position in the Under 13 competition, where Inishown and Derry Colts had good victories in their second games.
Brendan Keogh Youth League had a good win over Dungiven Celtic, while Glentoran also won comfortably against Oxford.
At Under 14, Shelbourne looked strong in easily defeating a useful Strabane side.
Shankill Youth defeated Ballymena and Celtic overcame Maiden City Academy.
At Under 15, Norwich City bounced back from an opening day loss to Limavady by defeating St Oliver Plunkett from Belfast.
Shankill Youth and Enniskillen Town Utd played out an exciting 2-2 draw.
At Under 16, NECSL staked a strong claim for the title with a |2-0 win over Enniskillen Town United.
At Under 17, Hibernian had a good win over Ballymoney United and Finn Harps defeated Cliftonville.
The tournament is sponsored by Derry City Council, the Department for Social Development, the Department of Culture & Leisure, Sport NI, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Limavady Borough Council, Strabane District Council, Seagate, E&I Engineering, PSNI Foyle Branch, Brunswick Superbowl, Derry Credit Union and, of course, Hughes Insurance.
For more information visit the tournament website at www.foylecup.com.
There are also live updates throughout the week at www.facebook.com/foylecupfootball<http://www.facebook.com/foylecupfootball>
The tournament office can be contacted throughout the week on 028 71359734.
The finals will be played on Friday and Saturday.