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Super Saints march to title
ST WULSTAN’S will represent Hyndburn in the Lancashire FA small-sided primary schools football finals after they were crowned borough champions.
In a tense final at Hollins High School, St Wulstans beat All Saints 1-0 thanks to Luke Livesey’s all-important, match-winning free kick.
The Great Harwood school had finished as runners-up in their group but came good in the knockout stages to take the title – as did All Saints who were in second place in Group Two.
And it was a real all-round affair with every member of the squad playing their part, with goals shared out among five of the seven outfield players – while keeper Joshua Fish was beaten just twice.
A total of 12 teams from across Hyndburn took part in the tournament which was organised by the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley School Sports Partnership and is part of the School Games – a new government initiative for school sport.
Young Leaders from Hollins High refereed the games and helped organise the event.
As well as the finalists, the other schools to take part were St Mary’s Oswaldtwistle, St Nicholas, St Mary’s Clayton, West End, Huncoat and St John with St Augustines, Peel Park, St Anne and St Josephs and St Oswalds.
Teams were split in to two groups with the winners and runners-up in each progressing through to the knockout stages.
The talented St Wulstan’s team kicked off Group One with an impressive 3-0 win against St John and St Augustine with Joel Bentham, Kyle Lowe and Seb Whalley – who would end leading scorer with five goals – all finding the back of the net.
But they suffered a setback in their second game when they went down 1-0 to eventual group winners St Nicholas.
However, in their ‘must-win’ third match, St Wulstan’s bounced back to beat West End 2-0 thanks to goals from Bentham and Bradley Hindle.
Bentham then made it three goals in three games in the 2-0 victory against St Marys Clayton with Whalley also on target as the Saints all put booked their place in the semi finals. And that place was assured as Whalley netted the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over Huncoat in the last match of the group stages.
St Mary’s Clayton finished in third place ahead of West End (fourth), Huncoat (fifth) and St John and St Augustine.
In Group Two, St Mary’s Oswaldtwistle topped the table with All Saints in second place with Peel Park, St Anne and St Josephs, St Oswalds all finishing equal third on the same points.
Moorend were fourth.
In to the sudden death of the knockout stages, St Wulstan’s booked their place in the final thanks to a double strike from Whalley to beat Group Two winners St Marys Oswaldtwistle.
There was also an upset in the second semi final when group runners-up beat group winners as All Saints toppled St Nicholas.
As expected, the final was a tense affair and, in the end, it was Livesey’s well struck free kick that gave St Wulstan’s the title.
They will now go forward to represent the borough in the countywide finals to be held early next year.
It is a second success for the St Wulstan’s as they are the reigning champions of Great Harwood, Clayton and Rishton.
St Wulstan’s PE coordinator Michelle Baron was delighted with her team.
She said: “It was a wonderful all-round performance from the boys who played well but who also played with great sportmanship. We have had a bit of success recently, winning the league title so we are looking forward to the the Lancashire FA finals next year.”
The winning St Wulstan’s squad included: Jack Latham, Joel Bentham, Luke Livesey, Kyle Lowe, Bradley Hindle, Josua Fish, Seb Whalley and Jacob Allen.
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