Football: Bede’s Colts Win Lancing College Festival

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The Lancing College Football Festival is the biggest football tournament that the Year 6 footballers compete in.

With 24 teams taking part, it is an incredibly difficult tournament to win. Over the years we have taken across many talented teams but rarely have we come away with the prestigious trophy.

Amazingly, we won the tournament despite losing our opening group match against Cumnor. In short matches anything can happen and with Corrie, our Captain, struggling with a sore knee, and our strikers unable to beat a 'keeper who had a proverbial 'blinder', we came away as losers to a solitary last-minute goal.

If we were to come in the top two in the group, and qualify for the knockout stages, we knew we couldn't afford to lose another game. We probably couldn't even afford to draw one and we showed great character to finish top of the group with consecutive wins against Copthorne (2-0), Lancing Prep (5-0), and Westbourne House (1-0).

Once we had made it into the last 8 of 24, tougher tests lay ahead. In the quarter final we beat Haslemere 2-1. At 2-0 until the last minute, it wasn't actually as tough as we thought it might be, but then, as we moved into the semi finals, we knew we really were at the business end of proceedings!

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Parkside were a big, powerful side and while we were spurning a 'one on one' against their 'keeper at one end, they were hitting the woodwork the other.

Neither team could score and a place in the final was a sudden death penalty away. James Grout played his part by making a fantastic save and Archie Lenham completed the job by coolly slotting his penalty into the bottom corner. We were in the final.

Great Walstead were a different proposition altogether. Where Parkside were big and powerful, Great Walstead were small and skilful. A great team goal, finished off by Solterman, gave us a lead and, tired as we were, we hung onto it as if our lives depended on it.

The final whistle was the sweetest of sounds. We had got off to the worst possible start with defeat in our first match but had gone on to win 6 matches in a row, scoring 12 and conceding just the 1 goal.

Having started the season with comfortable wins against Brighton College, Hurst and Holmewood House, I thought we would do well, but I never dreamed we would win it.

A truly memorable day of football.

 

Chris Atherton

Head of Physical Education

Learn more about Football at Bede's Prep School