School football: Saints go close to a clean sweep

School football: Saints go close to a clean sweep

St Bede’s celebrate a penalty shoot-out victory in the year eight final

School football: Saints go close to a clean sweep

School football: Saints go close to a clean sweep

School football: Saints go close to a clean sweep

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

ST BEDE’S nearly made it a clean sweep of victories when the annual Blackburn and Darwen schools cup finals were held at Blackburn Roverstraining base at Brockhall.

The super Saints won four of the five finals in the end of season showpiece, which was held over the course of a week.

Only Darwen Aldridge Community Academy denied St Bede’s the clean sweep after they won the year nine final.

However, St Bede’s demonstrated their depth in footballing talent by winning the year seven, year eight, year 10 and year 11 finals – while they also finished runners-up to DACA in year nine.

St Bede’s head teacher Chris Bentley was delighted with the school’s achievements.

“It was a great achievement to reach all of the five finals and even more so to win four out of five,” said Bentley. “We have had a successful season both in boys and girls football with unprecedented success in both the Lancashire and English Schools competitions. “I would like to thank the school games organiser Andrew Mercer for his efforts in transforming the cup competitions over the last three years. In previous years these competitions haven’t been completed and the finals have been low key affairs.

“I would also like to thank the St Bede’s parents and congratulate our students.”

Mercer said being able to play the matches at Brockhall made it all the more special.

He said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Blackburn Rovers Academy for allowing us to use their wonderful facilities.

“I would also like to thank Pleckgate and QEGS who allowed us to use their pitches as centralised venues for the three rounds leading up to the finals.”

Year 7 final
St Bede’s 2 Darwen Vale 1

After an even first half, Darwen Vale took the lead through Will Fort. St Bede’s rallied well and equalised through an excellent team goal, finished by Ethan Hartland. Just as it looked like we were heading for extra time, St Bede’s snatched victory with an unfortunate own goal.

Year 8 final
St Bede’s 1 St Wilfrid’s 1 (AET - St Bede’s won 5-3 on pens)

In a repeat of last year’s final, St Bede’s started strongly and had lots of chances to score, but against the run of play St Wilfrid’s took the lead before half time. Wilfrid’s defended well until Connor Newton lobbed the goalkeeper from 30 yards to force extra time. The game went to penalties, with St Wilfrid’s missing two and St Bede’s scoring all of theirs to be crowned 2014 champions.

Year 9 final
DACA 2 St Bede’s 1

St Bede’s started brightly and took the lead through a Greg Edeme strike. DACA came back strong in the second half with Joel Pedder equalising and Brandon Smith grabbing the winner.

Year 10 final
St Bede’s 3 Darwen Vale 0 

St Bede’s proved too strong for a Darwen Vale team who were missing a couple of key players.

Dexter Slater was the star of the show with a stunning hat-trick.

Year 11 final
St Bede’s 3 St Wilfrid’s 2

St Wilfrid’s came out the traps flying and were 2-0 up after 10 minutes.

St Bede’s made a couple of changes and they proved successful when Taylor Ellis scored soon after the interval.

Luke Catterall then brought the scores level midway through the second half. The comeback was complete when the impressive Declan Cunliffe grabbed the winner in the final minutes.

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