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Thursday, 26 February 2015
Thirteen Year 6 football teams from independent schools across the North West congregated at Bolton School for the preliminary round of this year’s Independent Schools’ Football Association (ISFA) competition. The event was again hosted at Bolton School and went ahead despite the morning’s rainy conditions, which thankfully brightened as the day went on.
The participating schools were split into two groups to take part in a round robin competition. In Group A were Altrincham Preparatory, Bury Grammar School, Lady Barn House, Oldham Hulme Grammar School, St Bede’s College, The King’s School in Macclesfield and The Ryleys School. Group B consisted of Bolton School Boys’ Division Junior School, Manchester Grammar School, Rossall School, Stockport Grammar School, The King’s School Chester and Westholme School.
The Bolton School Junior Boys’ team played extremely well throughout this first stage of the competition, winning three matches and drawing the rest with no goals scored on either side.
The top two teams in each group went on to the semi-final stage, where the Bolton boys faced the team from The Ryleys School and came out on top with a score of 2-0. Bury Grammar School was up against Stockport Grammar School in the other semi-final match, which was won by Stockport with the same score of 2-0.
This meant that the final was a repeat of the Stockport and Bolton teams’ first match of the day – a 0-0 draw. There was therefore a lot of excitement on both sides as they took to the pitch for the last match, watched by a number of enthusiastic parents supporting both sides.
The match was very closely fought throughout. Bolton took the lead in the first half, scoring one goal, but Stockport was not prepared to give in easily and fought back. However, the Bolton team managed to score another hard-won goal during the second half and Stockport was unable to come back despite their best efforts.
The Bolton School Junior Boys’ team won the final 2-0, having conceded no goals in the course of the entire tournament!
During an awards ceremony at the end of the match, ISFA representatives thanked the players, coaches and staff for attending the tournament, the referees for doing such an excellent job, and the parents for staying to spectate despite the bitterly cold wind and the rain earlier in the day. They also thanked Bolton School for hosting and making sure that the pitches were in good enough condition to be usable despite the rain. Finally, they gave pennants to all of the players who took part in the final, and presented the cup to the captain of the Bolton School Junior Boys’ team.
Both teams who played in the North West final will go on to play in the ISFA National Finals in May, which will take place at St George’s Park.
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