A group of football and rugby players have ensured the bar of sporting prowess has been raised so high at their school it may never be achieved again.
The current under-11 boys at Littlegarth School in Nayland have blown away their opposition so many times that ‘the invincibles’ tag bestowed on the likes of Arsene Wenger’s unbeaten Arsenal side of 2003/04 now looks a fitting tag for the kings of school sport.
In rugby union, the boys from the north Essex independent school have gone two whole school years unbeaten, while the footballers, some of them crossing over to the egg-shaped ball, have just lifted the Independent Schools Association (ISA) National Five-a-side trophy.
Some games have even had to be stopped early and scores such as ‘50-plus-0’ recorded, such has been their domination on the field of play.
The headteacher at Littlegarth, Peter Jones, has been teaching for 30 years and said he has never seen anything like it.
He puts it down to a mix of exceptional skill and team spirit, underpinned by a cast-iron determination to win for each other.
“I was a PE teacher in my previous life and had very successful team in the past but this group are just seem to have a steely determination about them,” he said. “To go unbeaten through a season as a team, including in national competitions, is quite exceptional.”
The rugby team currently edges the eye-watering statistics, with in excess of 400 points racked up across 11 unbeaten games this season, with the campaign before seeing six games with a 196-0 points record.
The national title, across all forms of schools, did elude them at Epsom College in Surrey last month though as their only scoreless game saw them fail to progress past the quarter-finals.
The footballers were knocked out in the semi-finals of the ISA five-a-side last season, their only defeat of the campaign, but won it for the first time in Littlegarth’s history last month.
Jones praised PE teachers Matthew Elmakathlah and Rob Fidler for travelling all over the country with both sports teams, and for the work they had done to help the students realise their undoubted potential.
He added the sporting success at Littlegarth was not just confined to the boys, with the girls having also won several tournaments this year, including netball (under-10s and under-11s) and hockey (under-9s) this term.