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Thursday, 27 February 2014
Today, the Independent Schools' Football Association (ISFA) held its annual North West U11s' seven-a-side football championship at Bolton School. With twelve schools taking part, it was a tough competition as the teams played in muddy conditions to a very high standard. The schools taking part in the Group A round robin were Altrincham Preparatory, Cheadle Hulme, Lady Barn House, Manchester Grammar School, St Bede’s College and Stockport Grammar School, while Group B was made up of Bolton School Junior Boys, Bury Grammar School, King’s Chester, Oldham Hulme Grammar School, QEGS Blackburn and St Mary’s College
All of the boys performed well in their matches, but eventually the teams were whittled down to the final four: Lady Barn House, St Bede’s College, Bury Grammar School and Bolton School Junior Boys.
Bolton School defeated Lady Barn House in the semi-final, while Bury Grammar School beat St Bede’s College. Bolton School versus Bury Grammar School therefore became the last match of the day – as well as the first for both teams! Both teams played extremely well, with Bolton’s boys defending their goal right down to the final seconds of the game.
However, by the final whistle, the score was exactly the same as the morning: one nil to Bury Grammar School.
The players gave one another three cheers at the end of the match before leaving the pitch to collect their pennants. During the awards ceremony, the ISFA thanked Bolton School for hosting the event, as well as the referees and the few parents who had stuck it out until the very end to support their sons. “For me, the standard of play today was excellent,” said one of the representatives. “It’s wonderful to come back to the North of England and see that the game is still being played so well.”
Despite their defeat in the final, the Bolton School Junior Boys are not out of the competition yet. As runners up, they will go forward to the National Finals at the FA National Football Centre at St George’s Park on Monday 28th April.
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