School football: National glory for Moorland

Moorland skipper Luke Tabone lifts the Under 16s Shield

Action from the final against King Edward’s School from Surrey at Quorn Football Club

First published in Sport by , Features Writer

MAGNIFICENT Moorland were crowned the kings of England after winning a nationwide football tournament in the school’s first season in the competition.

The Clitheroe-based school carried off the Independent Schools’ Football Association Under 16 Shield with a 2-0 victory over red-hot favourites King Edward’s, Witley, from Surrey.

Now giant killers Moorland have the prospect of completing a double winning campaign when they lock horns with local rivals St Bede’s, Blackburn, in the final of the Lancashire Cup at Blackpool on Friday.

Proud Moorland Headteacher Jonathan Harrison: “The whole of Moorland School is incredibly proud of their achievements.

“We are the smallest school in the competition, and that’s what makes it so special.

“We had parents fly in from Qatar, South Korea and Malta to be at the final and it was lovely that they could share that success too.

“The boys have done so well - it is a huge achievement for Moorland.”

The final was watched by the tournament’s highest ever attendance at the home of Quorn Football Club in Leicestershire and sharpshooter Alex Curran proved to be the Moorland hero.

After a goalless first half, Curran made the all-important breakthrough, heading home eight minutes after half time.

Then Curran capped off a wonderful team performance, to score a superb individual goal as Moorland sealed their cup win.

Moorland coach Charlie Jackson said: “The kids were brilliant, they’ve achieved so much this season and all the staff and parents are rightly proud of what they’ve done.

“We are a tiny school compared to several of the teams we’ve taken on in this competition, so it shows the skill and dedication of the players.

“We are a very young squad, too, with eleven of them under the age of fifteen.”

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson also attended the final to watch his son Joe in action.

The 15-year-old prospect, a rising star at Blackburn Rovers Academy, has played a huge role in Moorland’s success this season, scoring in every round of the competition bar the final.

Joe, who smashed a hat-trick in the semi-final against Kimbolton School, said: “It is a fantastic achievement by the team.”

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