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Grove Athletic retain IFA Disability Premiership

Grove Athletic DFC pictured after winning the IFA Disability Premiership for the second successive season Grove Athletic DFC pictured after winning the IFA Disability Premiership for the second successive season
By Staff Reporter

IT has been was a busy few weeks for the players and management of Grove Athletic DFC.

At the start of March they clinched their second consecutive IFA Disability Premiership title, making it their third IFA title won in the three years the club has been around.

Grove will also be looking to win back-to-back doubles when they seek to retain their George Best Community Cup at the end of June.

Some of the Grove Athletic DFC guys took a trip over to England last week to play Everton FC Imagine Your Goals and games against the Man Utd Foundation teams.

On the Thursday, they beat Everton 24-22 in a 90-minute game which saw Grove captained by David Laughlin.

Jordan Laughlin and Martin Methven were scoring for fun and also having their own game of who can score from furthest out.

The game was fast paced and played in great spirit from start to finish with the lead changing hands several times.

Friday saw the guys head to Old Trafford for a stadium tour before they headed to The Cliff later that evening to take on Man Utd Foundation’s ability 1 and 2 sides.

They came away with two 1-0 defeats and a 1-0 win with Grove’s goal coming from captain Martin Methven. They also played out a 0-0 draw.

Saturday saw the team switch from the red half of Manchester to the blue half for a stadium tour around the Etihad.
Grove Athletic DFC manager Danielle Hilton McIlwaine expressed her delight at the trip’s success.

“The guys and I really enjoyed our time away,” said McIlwaine.

“We made some new friends, formed great football connections with two amazing clubs and look forward to welcoming Everton to Belfast for the return game next year.

“We cannot thank Colin, EFC IYG, Alex, the Man Utd Foundation and Neil at Man City enough for all their help and hospitality over the four days we were there.

“We would also like to thank our sponsor, Lost City Adventure Golf Citiside, Peak for looking after our goalkeepers, mbroidery.co.uk and Touch Plus Sports for kiting the team out.”

Grove Athletic DFC will now turn their attention to a suicide awareness tournament in Dublin at the start of June in preparation for their defence of their George Best Cup Ability 1 title later next month.

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