Schools Cup 2019 Champions
The top 8 school teams in Norfolk met in the Champions Day to determine who would take home the trophy and be crowned the best team in Norfolk.
In the first match, we faced Woodlands Primary Academy, who had won the competition twice in the previous 6 years. Goals from Issy and Beau made the score 2-0 at half time. The boys managed to hold out in the second half for a final overall score of 2-0.
In the next match, the girls won 5-0, with 4 goals from Beau and one from Grace. The boys again held firm to protect the 5 goal lead.
The final pool match against St Williams Primary would decide who would top the group and avoid Dussindale in the Semi Final. The girls won 2-0 thanks again to Issy and Beau. The boys played an excellent second half and scored their first goal of the day through Ethan after great work on the left from Lennon. This saw LPS@TH through as group winners thanks to a 3-0 overall score.
The Semi Final was the most straightforward game of the day, as the girls blew previous winners Rackheath Primary away in a blistering first half that saw 8 goals in 10 minutes, with hat tricks for Issy and Beau, and two fine goals from the excellent Evie. James scored in the second half, finishing off a marvelous lob from Lennon to win the Semi Final 9-0.
We then faced last year’s winners, Dussindale in the final. This was the team we had been hoping to avoid since we saw them in the other group in the qualification day.
The girls started strongly, but couldn’t get through the Dussindale defence. As the match wore on, the opposition grew into the game and they played the last few minutes of the half putting serious pressure on our goal. Rachel and Grace defended really well, being strong and confident on the ball. When the ball did break through, Zinhle was there to block the shots and clear her lines. Just before half time a shot from Dussindale was whistling towards the bottom corner, when Zinhle just got a foot to it to force it wide for a corner.
As the whistle blew at 0-0, it became clear that, having been carried through the first round and most of the day by the girls, it was now up to the boys to step up and perform against the strongest team.
The boys got stuck in right from the first whistle and were determined not to let the opposition’s star player get on the ball. They played the ball down the right wing and, after a quick one-two, Lennon unleashed an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner. The team were ecstatic, but they had to calm down as they still had 9 minutes to play. After some superb defending by Oliver and Harry, the ball was played through to James, who stroked the ball into the corner. The team started to believe and, with time running out, Lennon smashed another left footed shot into the net. The seconds ticked down and the final whistle blew. The team had won the final 3-0.
The joyous celebrations from both the girls and the boys were something to behold and will stay with them for a long time.
It is difficult to do justice to how well the team played, but the two most pleasing things were how much every player improved, and how much the whole achievement was a team achievement. They all knew their roles and they played for each other.
Archie was superb in goal, and kept the team from having to face any nervy moments with his confident domination of his area. Zinhle also made some great stops. Oliver and Harry were superb at the back, as they had to be against the best teams in Norfolk. Millie, Grace and Rachel were strong, organised and much more confident and determined than in the first round. Ethan and Marcus showed strength, both going forward and in the tackle. Marcus, despite being only in Year 5, showed strength and determination and almost scored with two excellent shots. Evie showed fantastic footballing ability and was both calm on the ball and excellent going forward. James’ determination and skill won the ball back countless times and drove the team forward. Issy, Beau and Lennon showed strength, ability and character, as they defended, passed, attacked and scored, showing exactly why football is called the beautiful game. They were an absolute pleasure to watch and coach and they should all be incredibly proud of what they achieved.
They were up against the strongest teams the county had to offer, and they finished the day with 5 wins from 5 games, 22 goals scored, no goals conceded…and a massive trophy.
Girls: Issy M, Beau K, Grace H-K, Evie W, Rachel H, Millie P, Zinhle N
Boys: Lennon T, James M, Ethan C, Marcus W, Harry S, Oliver B , Archie C