Fourteen French under 17 soccer players with their coach Paul Bernard and Club Dernières Cartouches de Carhaix club officers Christian Cloarec,  Philippe Connan and Jean Michel Morvan arrived in Carrickmacross on Sunday, October 28th. Town Clerk Frances Matthews and Town Council Staff organised some finger food and non-alcoholic beverages in the Civic Centre to welcome the footballers and their mentors. All of them were accommodated in the homes of local family members of Carrickmacross Town Twinning Association, Carrick Rovers FC and parents /guardians of the under 17 team footballers. 

There was something of an international feel to proceedings at the Ballybay Road Football Grounds on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon when Carrick Rovers took on DC de Carhaix team to win back  La Coupe de Jumelage  (The Twinning Trophy). Rovers started brightly and set about getting at the French side early by not letting them settle on the ball. On seven minutes the first goal chance came for the Rovers when the ball was steered past the goalkeeper but unfortunately the shot hit the upright and rebounded to safety. Other scoring opportunities occurred on 16th and 29th minutes. The first half ended scoreless with DC de Carhaix coming more in to the game before the interval.

The second half started as the first and Rovers got their reward for good play by opening the scoring with a fine goal after 56 minutes of play. They could have added another goal shortly after but for an outstanding save by the Carhaix goalkeeper. Despite all this they had to play hard and contest every ball to contain the Carhaix lads. The local team seemed to have it won as the game went in to injury time when out of the blue a ball was struck from 30 yards out and ended in the back of the Rovers net. The referee blew his whistle.  The Carhaix team celebrated in true French style.

In extra time Rovers had to dig deep as the DC de Carhaix team raised their game considerably. Both 10-minute halves ended with no further scores so it went to the dreaded penalty kicks. Rovers got the result they wanted by scoring 4 out of 5 while DC de Carhaix missed 3. Final result:  Rovers 1. DC de Carhaix 1, Rovers 4 – 2 on penalties. Rovers team coach Francis Matthews and his young talented team went wild with delight. La Coupe de Jumelage was theirs to hold until another group of young boys play for it in 2014/15 in Carhaix.

Later on Monday evening the Carrickmacross Town Twinning Association hosted a meal for the teams, the two soccer clubs officers and the host families. There were speeches from Carrickmacrocrss Town Mayor Darcy Lonergan, Marie Louise Huiban President of Carhaix Town Twinning Association, Michael Mc Mahon and Art Agnew representing Carrickmacross Town Twinning Association and Carrickmacross Rovers FC respectively. Music was provided by Ceoltóirí Drumlin.

On Tuesday young players from Rovers FC and DC de Carhaix as well as footballers from some neighbouring clubs engaged in joint coaching sessions and mini tournaments. The visitors left on Wednesday morning delighted with their stay and with the hospitality of Carrickmacross families but, naturally, disappointed at having to leave La Coupe de Jumelage behind them.