Laurelhill pupils have a ball on football tour

TWENTY-FIVE boys from Laurelhill, along with teachers and representatives from the PSNI, have just returned home after a memorable football tour to Wigan, carrying on from the previous 8 years of partnership with Dunmurry HS and Rosebridge HS (Wigan).

This year the school played four matches against Ashton Athletic, twice against Rosebridge High School and one match between themselves.The first game against Ashton Athletic (U14) was a hard fought match which unfortunately the locals lost 4-0. However Aston were at least one year older than the Laurelhill boys and they had been travelling all day from 6am.

The second match was played with two sixth year students managing two Laurelhill teams. - Walker’s Wallabies v Fletcher’s Flamingos. The Flamingos won 5 – 1 with goals coming from Chris Mallett (2), Chris Singleton, Nathan Brennan and Ryan Jackson.

Rosebridge High School provided the opposition for the final two games on the Friday afternoon. This took place after a fun filled morning playing table tennis and rugby league with the boys of Rosebridge.

The match against Rosebridge was played at the home of Leigh Rugby League (a 8000 seater stadium where Blackburn Rovers Reserves play). The matches were played in good spirits as by now both set of boys had made friendships.

The ‘B’ team match which ended 2 – 2 after a controversial refereeing decision with goals coming from Nathan Brennan and Ian Ellison. The ‘A’ team match also ended in a draw, 3 – 3, with gaols coming from Chris Mallett, Ryan Jackson and Scott Waite.

The boys got to take in a Premiership match at Goodison Park when Everton took on QPR. Everton were by far the better team and easily beat QPR 2–0, goals coming from Darren Gibson and Victor Anichebe.

Another highlight of the tour was meeting some of the Everton players and getting the chance to get their photos and autographs, namely Tony Hibbert, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Kevin Mirallas, John Heitinga and Marouane Fellaini.

The boys also got to visit Old Trafford, the DW Stadium and Anfield. They got the see the changing rooms, players lounge, dug-out, disabled viewing area and the press box.

At Anfield they saw the players’ entrance, Paisley gates, Hillsborough disaster memorial and the famous ‘Kop’. They also parked beside Stanley Park were Liverpool will be moving to. On the tour they learned an interesting fact, that in fact Everton were the first club to own Anfield before they left it to set up Goodison Park.

At the DW Stadium, home of Wigan Athletic FC, once again they got a tour of the pitch and changing rooms.

This was their first trip to Wigan and were well looked after and made very welcome. The pupils were commended on their behaviour everywhere they went and were excellent ambassadors for the school and Northern Ireland.


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