St Benedict’s students have finished off an excellent season with both the girls and boys’ football teams being crowned County Champions.
The finals were played on 26th March at The Sheepmount in Carlisle, with both teams having progressed through the previous rounds earlier in the year.
U13 Girls’ Result – St Benedict’s 3 Queen Elizabeth School 1
U13 Boys’ Result – St Benedict’s 4 Morton Academy 3
Miss Powe, Head of PE commented: “The PE department are immensely proud of both our U13 girls’ and boys’ football teams. It is unique for teams from the same school to be crowned county champions on the same day. Both teams were superb and are a huge credit to our school.”
U13 Girls Report:
St Benedict’s started the game with some great early passing, but unfortunately went behind to a Queen Elizabeth goal against the run of play. This was a wake-up call for the girls and they began to settle into the game and dominate possession, creating some good scoring chances.
Grace Houghton levelled up the score with a fine run down the right wing and a powerful strike. Slick passing and great movement off the ball allowed St Benedict’s to open up the Queen Elizabeth defence on numerous occasions and the constant pressure finally paid off when Ellie May Callander bounced on a ball spilled by the keeper to put St Benedict’s 2-1 up.
After half time, St Benedict’s continued to dominate the game with some fine balls played out of defence by Jessica Bridgman for midfielders to attack. Sophie Douglas and Emi Rudd caused the Queen Elizabeth defence lots of problems with their direct running, but St Benedict’s could not find the back of the net.
St Benedict’s continued to push the ball forward and finally got the 3-1 cushion when a great ball into the box from Ellie May Callander allowed Grace Houghton to score from close range. A fantastic team performance from the Bennies girls.
Miss Powe commented: “A great all round team performance from a hardworking and committed set of girls. They fully deserved the win and I look forward to watching them develop further next year.”
Team: Sophie Douglas (Capt.), Emi Rudd, Kaela Reay, Laya McKendrey, Keira Clark, Grace Houghton, Jessica Bridgman, Sienna McNicholas, Layla Fatialofa, Izzy Foster, Jessica Kitchen, Poppy Fitzwilliam, Ellie May Callander.
U13 Boys Report:
The teams have met before on two occasions over the past two seasons, and the games have always been closely contested.
The first half started with the sides as expected, very evenly matched. After five minutes though, Romeo Park thundered a 30-yard strike into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 St Benedict’s.
Celebrations were short lived though, as Morton worked a neatly taken equaliser 1-1. This sparked St Benedict’s back into life and after some determined tackling in midfield Robbie Swinburn went clean through and finished his chance clinically to give Bennies the advantage 2-1.
Morton began dominating possession though and stuck a dangerous shot from distance, which struck the underside of the bar and hit the unfortunate goalkeeper on the back to creep over the line, 2-2 at half time.
Morton began the second half the stronger of the two sides and were quickly ahead when a ball was not cleared effectively from the St Benedict’s penalty box. Morton continued to press but to St Benedict’s credit they dug deep, made key tackles, and got a foothold back in the game. With around 10 minutes left St Benedict’s were fouled 25 yards from goal and up stepped Romeo Park to strike a wonderful free kick into the top corner, giving their goalkeeper no chance and drawing the game level at 3-3.
Both sides pressed for the winner, both sides were giving everything in terms of effort with bot goalkeepers called into making crucial saves. The game looked to be heading into extra time as the referee indicated it was the last minute. St Benedict’s seemed to spark into life at that moment and the ball was drilled into the Morton area. On hand was Robbie Swinburn to nip in and finish from close range to spark pandemonium-like celebrations, before being mobbed by the entire St Benedict’s squad.
Mr Harrison, PE Teacher at St Benedict’s commented: “A wonderful end to the season and a special night for the players, parents, staff and school. Special thanks to the parents who as ever support the team through thick and thin.”