footballThe Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service football (NIFRS) team are celebrating following their victory over Tayside Fire & Rescue Service in the final of the UK Fire Service Cup held at the Falkirk Stadium in Scotland.

Goals from firefighters Andrew Forsythe and Stephen Doyle in a game that was ultimately decided on penalties helped NIFRS football team to win the cup for the first time in their history.

The journey for NIFRS football team has been a very demanding fixture schedule, with the side facing away games against Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service followed by 9-1 and 9-0 home trouncings of defending champions London Fire Brigade in the quarter-final and Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service in the semi-finals respectively.

The side, made up of serving firefighters from all over the province has enjoyed a fantastic season this year netting 33 goals in this campaign.

NIFRS football team Manager Ian Kendall said: “This is a fantastic result for the team and coaching staff that have worked so hard throughout the season and have been rewarded as the best Fire & Rescue Service football team across the UK. I would like to pay tribute to Tayside Fire & Rescue Service, who were part of a great match and a tremendous spectacle played in the true spirit of good sportsmanship.

“A large number of the players were part of the team that came so close to victory over recent years. Only 4 years ago, the side were beaten finalists to Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service and the disappointment that day has been a catalyst to this year’s success.

“Both the players and the coaching staff have sacrificed a lot this season in terms of free time and their commitment has been duly rewarded. The players all have extremely demanding professions and they are a credit to the NIFRS.”

“The victory is also for all those ex-players who were unfortunate not to be in this position but I am sure were delighted with the result. This is a fantastic achievement for the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service as an organisation.”