Bumper ball falls for UTV's McAlinden

Bumper ball falls for UTV's McAlinden

Belfast's first outdoor bumper football tournament lived up to its name at the weekend, as UTV's Colm McAlinden found out first-hand.

The event on Sunday saw Writer's Square transformed into a five aside football pitch for a game of soccer with a difference.

In 'bumper ball', players are encased in a giant inflatable ball or 'bubble', which is used to bounce against opponents in the fight for the ball.

The tournament was the idea of bar owners Brian McGeown and Anthony Farrell who wanted to raise money for local charity, Children's Heartbeat Trust.

The proceeds are going towards providing lifesaving operations for babies, children and young people with heart disease in Northern Ireland.

Sarah Quinlan from Children's Heartbeat Trust said: "This support will help us continue to provide emotional and practical support to families affected by congenital heart disease.

"I actually think there's some very talented football players out here, it's just whether these balls allow them to show off their skills or not.

"It's definitely an interesting game and it's really good fun, so it's a fantastic fundraiser to be involved with."

Colm's experience may have been a bit bumpier than normal - he did a 360-degree flip after his own teammates turned on him - as did the referee.

Following his ordeal, he said would be "sticking to watching the World Cup".

© UTV

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