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Coalfields Trust Midnight legal winners

Thompsons Solicitors won praise for their sponsorship of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Midnight League finals at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre on Sunday.

Over 200 youngsters from former mining communities all over central Scotland took part in the finals, with Alloa’s Jackson Five winning the boys 14 and over section, Penicuik Stars taking the boys 12/13 title and Burnbank girls beating their near neighbours Blantyre in the final of the girls event.

Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Thompsons Solicitors for their sponsorship of the finals and to the Scottish FA for running the leagues and the finals.

“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust supports midnight leagues in 21 former coalfield communities to the tune of £50,000 a year, giving over 1,100 youngsters something positive to do at weekends.
“Events like the finals really bring home how much good that does and how much enjoyment it gives to those taking part.”

Bruce Shields, Solicitor-Advocate and Partner at Thompsons Solicitors said: ‘We were delighted to contribute to the success of the CRT’s midnight league finals.

“Thompsons Solicitors has a long and proud tradition as trade union lawyers. We have always supported miners, their families and their communities and we continue to act for the NUM.

“It was a real pleasure to see the sheer enthusiasm of the boys and girls taking part, and an object lesson in how to play the game. I was very impressed with the quality of their play and their sportsmanship.

Andy Gould, Head of Regional Development at the Scottish FA said: “Every boy and girl who took part can be really proud of themselves, both for their skills level, and their behaviour on and off the pitch.”

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Cathie Craigie who joined Bruce and CRT Chair Peter McNestry in presenting the trophies said: “My local team made it to the final, but just missed making it three wins a row for Cumbernauld. But as always it was a great occasion.”

Mr McNestry said: “The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is particularly concerned with helping young people. By supporting midnight leagues in Scotland and the rest of the country, we improve the quality of life in former mining communities by giving young people something positive to do at weekends”.

The Jackson Five from Alloa in Clackmannanshire, represented by Stephen Muir, Gary Marshall, Kevin Allan, William Marshall and Liam Freck, won the boys 14+ final against Bayer Levararchfile from Cumbernauld and Croy in North Lanarkshire

The Penicuik Stars, featuring twins Steve and Kyle Scott, Jason and Greg Kerr, brothers Callum and Kyle Mitchell, and Matthew Graham and Ryan Porteous took the Boys 12/13 title beating Kelloholm, from Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Galloway in their final.

The girls final was a local derby between two South Lanarkshire teams, with Burnbank, represented by Amy Bulloch, Samantha MacPherson, Danielle O’Neill, Zoe-Kate McCarney, Lisa McIntyre and Nicole Mooney, while Blantyre were Laura Gallen, Emma Baird, Karen Baillie, Lauren Hind, Theresa McGill and Erin Dickson beating Blantyre in a penalty shoot to take the title.

The Finals are the culmination of regular Midnight Leagues which the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland co-sponsors with the Bank of Scotland and are played, week in and week out in twenty Scottish coalfields areas.

The Midnight League programme is run by the Scottish FA in partnership with The Bank of Scotland, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, CashBack for Communities, local authorities and police forces.

The aim is to get young people off the street and onto the pitch, and last year over 10,000 people played Midnight League football at 70 venues across every local authority in Scotland.

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