Late changes don't spoil 'Boro Boys Scottish tour

THERE were some last minute rearrangements to be made when Hillsborough Boys went on their Easter Tour to Scotland recently.

Due to the adverse weather conditions that battered Scotland and Lanarkshire in particular during the week leading up to the trip, North Lanarkshire Borough Council and Airdrie United were left with no option but to cancel the tournament they had entered.

Boro secretary Paul Alexander commented: "When we received the call informing us of the cancellation we were devastated, all we could think of was how could we tell 100+ kids that the weekend's football they look forward to all year had been cancelled? After the dust settled we gathered our thoughts and tried to plan our next move, with a bit of thinking on the feet and many calls to friends within the football family we arrived at a position we were comfortable with to depart on Friday morning."

178 players, coaches and parents arrived at the Omniplex on Friday morning to be greeted by Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Allan Ewart and a Scottish piper. This well and truly whet the appetite and set the scene for what was to turn into a great weekend.

In the space of two days, organisers had been able to arrange competitive friendlies against Airdrie United, Aberdeen, Celtic and the Scottish FA Boys Club among others. Although many a victory was savoured over the weekend, the pick of the results was probably the Under 17's 0-0 draw with Celtic under 17's in Glasgow on Friday evening, this showed everything good about the game, and no quarter was asked or given by either side.

After the games on Saturday the travelling party went to Ibrox where they watched the Rangers v Hamilton match.

On their return to the hotel the team were met by former Scotland manager Craig Brown who kindly gave of his time to sign autographs and pose for photos with the boys. Saturday night came to a close with a visit to M&D's and the local bowling alley.

The weekend closed out with a full programme of fixtures on Sunday morning and the presentation of the player of the weekend trophies. Each manager from 11's – 17's nominated the player they felt had contributed most over the three days fixtures. The trophies were kindly presented by ex Rangers and Scotland legend Andy Goram who went out of his way to assist the Hillsborough party in any way he could.

It could have been a nightmare, but it really did turn into a weekend 'second to none' for the local club.