Under 11 Midland Regional Football Tournament 21.3.2015

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Our talented Under 11 football team were on the march again last Saturday having already secured the double of Grantham & District title and the crown of County Champions. The boys are the first from TGPS to pioneer new territory in Nottingham for the Midlands Regional Finals. Oliver, Alex J, Toby, Matthew, Peter, Alex Mc (Captain), Ben and Tommy were in determined mood in their opening encounter against the eventual tournament winners ……… Chase View School (Staffordshire County Champions). We started confidently but very soon realised that our opponents had a few extremely talented players, particularly a “Lionel Messi” clone who weaved and bobbed his way through all his opponents’ defences and scored for fun. Unfortunately, and not for the want of trying, we lost 2 – 0. Credit to our lads, they took that one on the chin, rolled up their sleeves and armed with the knowledge that they could still qualify for the semi-finals as group runners up took the game to the Provost William School (Warwickshire Champions). We played exceptionally well in a very tight game and came out winners through a fine goal from Peter. Next up were Great Addington (Northamptonshire Champions), another hard fought fight which led to another draw before the real drama began!

Our final opponents of our group were an extremely physical side. Belbroughton School (Worcestershire) who were in no mood to let us control the game and what ensued was a tight, tough end to end game. Both sides needed to win to go through to the semi-finals. With one minute remaining, there was much elation on our part as we stuck the ball in their net only for the Referee to blow his whistle for an opposing player who had fallen on the ground apparently injured. The Ref disallowed the goal, at which point the player immediately got to his feet and continued. Very frustratingly this took us into the torment of a penalty shoot-out. Both sets of players and supporters were put through turmoil as players scored, players missed, keepers saved, keepers missed. This was enormously tight and quite honestly terrifying and exciting all in one.

Every player finished up taking penalties after the initial five each ended in deadlock. Even after everyone had taken a penalty it remained a draw. This was all too much for the crowd and personally I ran out of nails to chew on and began pulling what is left of my hair out! With heroics from Tommy in goal and a final flurry of well executed penalties from our boys we were finally allowed to let our blood pressure settle as TGPS pipped the tie 10 – 9. It is a cruel way to go out of a tournament and I don’t like penalties but I have to admit that it was very exciting. An ecstatic TGPS took their weary legs and stressed heads into the semis. Not the best preparation for such a massive, important game and without a break to re-group. We faced Loscoe School (Derbyshire) who had not had to endure such drama and had enjoyed a pleasant rest. However, no excuses because they were a fine team. We threw all that we had left at them and did ourselves huge credit but they had the edge and a talented boy up front who they used very well. They defeated us 2 – 0. They in turn were beaten in the final by our first opponents of the day ….Chase View in a controversial penalty shoot-out. But no complaints from us. Our boys were terrific, they gave their all and represented Lincolnshire and TGPS in fine style.

To come third in the whole of the Midlands region is an enormous and fantastic achievement. Congratulations from an extremely proud Mr Wilson. A special thanks to Mr & Mrs Korcz, my son Michael and all our parents for your outstanding support. The photograph shows our boys proudly sporting their County Championship trophy and official Football Association medals.

Mr Wilson