ST BEDE’S will be chasing county glory on two fronts after success at the Blackburn and Darwen Year Seven five-a-side finals.
The school won both the boys and girls competitions and have now progressed to the Lancashire finals of the English Schools Football Association-run competition.
Both teams will now take part in the county finals in Blackpool later this month and will be hoping to progress to the northern finals at Trafford Park in February.
A total of six schools entered the girls competition who were split in to two groups. Group One included Our Lady and St John, Darwen Vale and St Bede’s ‘A’ with Pleckgate, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) and St Bede’s ‘B’ drawn together in Group Two. St Bede’s ‘A’ topped Group One ahead of Darwen Vale who both progressed to the semi-finals. DACA with St Bede’s ‘B’ qualified from Group Two.
The first semi final was an all-St Bede’s affair and the result went as expected with the ‘A’ team winning 2-0. And it was the battle of the Darwen schools in the second semi final and it took extra time to separate Vale and DACA with Vale reaching the final thanks to a late winner.
But those semi finals efforts seemed to take it out on Vale as St Bede’s ‘A’ ran out convincing 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Kaya Pottilger, Devon Hesketh and Leah Rhodes. The winning squad included Kaya Pottilger, Maddie Elliott, Leah Rhodes, Devon Hesketh, Christies Yates and Hannah Starkie.
An impressive 10 schools entered the boy’s competition and teams were again split into two groups.
Group One consisted of St Wilfrid’s, QEGS, Our Lady & St Johns, Tauheedal Islamic Boys School and Darwen Vale with Group Two containing St Bede’s, Westholme, Blackburn Central, DACA and Pleckgate. St Bede’s and Darwen Vale both won their groups without losing a game and Our Lady & St John and Pleckgate both progressed to the semi-finals by finishing as runners-up.
A Sam Barnes goal was enough for St Bede’s to beat Our Lady and St John’s in the first semi final and it too extra time for Pleckgate to beat Darwen Vale.
In the final, St Bede’s took the lead through Connor Newton and late goals from Nathan Shaw and a second from Newton sealed victory. The Saints squad included of Leon Emmett, Nathan Shaw, Connor Newton, Joe Forkin, Sam Barnes, Precieux Ngongo and Connor Gillgunn.
Organiser Andrew Mercer said: “I would like to thank the the Young Volunteers from St Bede’s who refereed all of the matches and the Powerleague Soccerdome for allowing us to use their excellent facilities.”