Yr 6 Boys' District Tournament
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Year 6 Boys triumph in heart-stopping style!
On Thursday 4th November the Year 6 boys took part in the Elmbridge & Runnymede District football tournament here at Cardinal Newman. Ten schools were represented in what is regarded as the most prestigious tournament on the football calendar, the weather was fine (although the autumn winds blew strong) and everything was set up for a fantastic afternoon.
As the group games began to unfold it became very obvious to all that this was going to be a very tight competition – all ten teams were very evenly matched and spectators watched on with interest, anxiety and excitement as crucial semi-final places were up for grabs. Over on the other pitch, Group B was exceptionally tight with 6 of the first 7 games ending in draws. On our pitch, we started very well with a late winner against St Charles followed by an excellent 2-0 victory over St Anne’s. In our third game we played some fantastic football before Bell Farm grabbed a late equaliser, the game ending 1-1. Needing only a point in the final game to win our group we proved to be at our least effective, losing 1-0 to St Jude’s. This result meant Bell Farm topped Group A and we squeezed into the semi finals on goal difference from St Jude’s…phew, first job done (just!)
Finishing runners-up meant a heavyweight semi-final clash with Cleves and, after a rousing motivational speech, the boys played superbly, taking the lead with a fantastic team goal started by Oliver in goal and ending with James turning David’s cross into the net. We were so nearly there but Cleves weren’t about to give up and one minute from the end, an equaliser was scrambled in from a free-kick. Extra time could not split the teams so we endured the heart-stopping drama of a penalty shoot-out. We looked doomed as Cleves’ final player stepped up to win the game but Oliver saved and we went to sudden death. Ethan smashed home penalty one, Cleves missed and we were in the final!
The final was exceptionally tense. St James took the lead after a penalty awarded for a trip in the box and with time rapidly running out, we once again looked in big trouble. But this team showed their determination once more and with only 40 seconds remaining, Joseph slid a ball through into the path of David who slotted it past the advancing keeper…extra time once again! Despite chances at both ends, no winning goal could be found so we once again prepared for penalties. This time the goalkeepers were well on top with save after save but fortunately for us, first Ethan then Joseph scored to give us a 2-1 lead. The final St James’ player stepped up needing to score but his shot thudded into Oliver’s body and Cardinal Newman had won the tournament. Wild celebrations followed the hand-shakes all round and Ethan collected the huge winners shield. After losing the year 6 final on 3 occasions over the last 8 years, this was a fantastic achievement by this team. Let’s hope it inspires further great performances and results as we embark on our league campaign next week! Well done to all the team and to the fantastic parental support on the touchline.
Year 6 team – Oliver Ewmett (Gk), Tom Mills, David Smith, Michael Smith, James Navarro, James Darch, Ciaran Milligan, Ethan Lee (Captain), Joseph Perea
Group Stage - Cardinal Newman 1 (Joseph) St Charles 0
Cardinal Newman 2 (Joseph 2) St Anne’s, Chertsey 0
Cardinal Newman 1 (Ethan) Bell Farm 1
Cardinal Newman 0 St Jude’s 1
Semi Final - Cardinal Newman 1 (James D) Cleves 1
(Cardinal Newman won 4-3 on penalties)
Final - Cardinal Newman 1 (David) St James 1
(Cardinal Newman won 2-1 on penalties)