GREAT Cornard Middle School is celebrating one of its most successful ever seasons on a football pitch after both boys and girls sides reached prestigious national finals.
The under-13 boys team have shown plenty of skill and determination to win through to the showpiece final of the English Schools Football Association (ESFA) Small Schools Trophy, having progressed through no less than seven rounds.
The competition is in its inaugural season and is open to all Schools in England who have 65 boys or less in year eight.
At the same time, the school have also been cheering the under-12s girls’ team through two gruelling county rounds of the Munich Trophies five-a-side competition without losing a game and having only conceded one goal in their 10 matches.
They then went on to represent Suffolk at the regional finals at the UEA Sports Park in Norwich where they triumphed against the best teams from Norfolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.
Their reward is a national final at the Pride Park Power League, named after Derby County’s stadium, in Derby, to compete against the other seven best teams from around the England.
This follows on from the same girls, having reached the National Cricket finals in the summer.
The school’s head of PE, Ralph Pruden, said both sides had done tremendously well to reach the last two in their competitions.
“To get to a national final is a huge achievement for the boys and girls and something which they and the school are justifiably proud and excited about,” he said.
Of the boys he added: “The team has always shown a great deal of ability and it is a fabulous opportunity for them to showcase their qualities at a national level in a professional stadium.”
The boys are now full of excitement as they await the announcement of the final and venue, which they have been told will be in a professional football stadium. The Free Press will print the details when they are confirmed.
n The boys results were as follows: Round One: bye; Round Two: beat Breckland Middle School 6-1; Round Three: Beat Castle Manor Business and Exercise College 1-0; Round Four: Beat Sheredes School (Hertfordshire) 2-0; Round Five: Beast Ursuline Sports College (Kent) 4-2; QF: Beat Ibstock Place School (Richmond) 4-0; SF: Beat Broadlands Scholl (Somerset) 2-1. Top scorer is Chilli Wolf with four goals.