Thursday, 27 April 2017
Despite a grim forecast, the annual Year 5 and 6 Football Festival hosted by Bolton School ended in a blaze of evening sunshine. The tournament saw 800 pupils in 80 teams from 40 local primary schools participate in group games followed by a knockout competition and finals. They were cheered on by a strong contingent of family and friends who had come along to support their efforts.
The Football Festival has been running for almost a decade and is now split into an A Team Tournament, B Team Tournament and a Girls’ Tournament. Traditionally all three competitions are fiercely contested across 16 pitches, and this year was no exception. Players gave their all and enjoyed the challenge of facing a variety of different teams in the short eight-minute matches.
The A Team Final saw Lostock Primary and St Brendan’s compete for the cup. The two teams were closely matched in skill and there were some dramatic shots for both goals throughout the match. When the final whistle blew, a 0-0 draw meant that the final went to a penalty shoot-out where St Brendan’s finally overcame their opponents 3-2. The teams received gold and silver medals, with the St Brendan’s team taking home the cup.
The B Team finalists were similarly well-matched, but Red Lane ultimately won 1-0 on penalties after a 0-0 draw against Sunning Hill.
In the Girls’ Tournament, the Bolton School Junior Girls’ team performed well, winning their group stage. They were unfortunately knocked out in the quarter-finals by Walmesley, who went on to make it all the way to the final where they faced Markland Hill. On this occasion, Markland Hill proved to be the stronger, winning 1-0.
The Football Festival was arranged by Bolton School’s Head Football Coach and former Bolton Wanderers’ goalkeeper, Mr Keith Branagan. Boys’ Division pupils assisted throughout this huge event, acting as referees and as runners to deliver scores.
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