Football Festivals Fun for Primary Pupils
Thursday, 10 May 2018
Teams from more than 50 local primary schools flooded the pitches at Bolton School to take part in the annual Football Festivals. The non-competitive Year 3-4 event took place on Tuesday and was followed by the Year 5-6 tournaments on Thursday. The emphasis throughout both Festivals was on good sportsmanship, based on the ESFA Code of Conduct.
70 teams took part in friendly six-a-side matches in the Football Festival for pupils in Years 3 and 4. Teams enjoyed ‘round robin’ matches, playing all of the other teams in their group. With fifteen games taking place simultaneously on the Bolton School playing fields all through the late afternoon, the Football Festival made a wonderful spectacle and the children had fun in spite of some drizzle.
The Year 5-6 Football Festival enjoyed far better weather and was even larger, with 85 teams taking part and 17 pitches in use. Always a hugely popular event, the tournament is now split into the A Team competition, the B Team competition and the Girls’ competition, each with its own cup and always hotly contested.
The A team competition saw Lostock and St James’ Daisy Hill face one another in a dramatic semi-final which ended 0-0 and came down to sudden death penalties, won by Lostock. Meanwhile, Markland Hill won their semi-final against Prestolee 4-0. The final was very closely matched with both teams in fine form and cheered on by their passionate supporters. However, when the final whistle blew, the score was 1-3 to Markland Hill, the winners for the second year running.
Markland Hill were also represented in the final of the Girls’ competition, where they faced St Saviour after both teams won their semi-finals. Again, the final was extremely close and ended with no goals scored. This meant that the Girls’ winner was decided on sudden death penalties, and this year the cup went to St Saviour.
The B Team competition semi-finals were won by Ladybridge and St Michael’s C of E, and there were dramatic scenes as the scores increased on both sides. The winning team was ultimately Ladybridge with a final score of 6-3.
The Football Festivals were arranged by Bolton School’s Head Football Coach and former Bolton Wanderers’ goalkeeper, Mr Keith Branagan, who is also the PE Programme Manager for the Bolton Sports Alliance. Pupils from the Boys’ Division assisted at the Year 3-4 Football Festival by volunteering as referees for the children’s matches.
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