St. George's Prep are Minor Cup Champions 2019!
St George’s Prep v Rouge Bouillon Primary School
The Minor Cup champions 2019!!
Match report by Mr Pemberton
On Saturday 30th March at F.B. Fields, St George’s Prep beat Rouge Bouillon Primary School 2-1 in the final of the Primary Schools’ Minor Cup Competition.
Fifteen local Primary Schools entered the knockout competition and St George’s A team had won their 3 previous cup games to reach the final. Trinity were beaten 3-2, Samares were beaten 2-1 and a strong Bel Royal side were beaten 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after extra time with the match finishing 1-1.
Like St George’s, Rouge Bouillon had enjoyed a fantastic season in the league and both teams contained a number of very gifted young footballers. The conditions were dry and sunny and the match was finely balanced throughout the whole first half. Rouge Bouillon had some technically gifted players, but St George’s fought hard for every loose ball and made constant attempts to make use of the spaces available on a large pitch. Rouge Bouillon managed to find space in the penalty box on two or three occasions in the first half, but St George’s players Alena, Sydney and Dawson were quick to shut them down. When they were unable to make the tackle, they had the safe hands of Andrew behind them in goal. As the half progressed, St George’s remained strong defensively and they grew as an attacking force. Boden was finding space on the left wing and Ollie was doing the same on the right-hand side. Two or three passes found there way into and across the penalty box from the wide attacking channels. Rouge Bouillon were only just doing enough to stop the chances turning into goals.
The first half finished, finely poised at nil-nil.
At half time, there was a lot to be pleased with, but St. George’s still didn’t have the goal that they desired to win the match. The threat of Sebastian, Boden and Ollie was pleasing to see, but they needed encouragement to believe in themselves and have confidence with the ball at their feet. Mr Pemberton decided not to make any substitutions at half time, instead preferring to see if the players who had started so well could get their reward.
St George’s started the second half very brightly and were first to every loose ball. They were strong in the tackle and their positional discipline was impressive. Alena and Sebastian started to take control of the game. They were winning possession and setting up the attacks with direct dribbling and accurate forward passing. Whenever Sebastian had the ball at his feet, St George’s were a threat and Rouge Bouillon were struggling to contain him. Five minutes into the second half, Alena won the ball back from Rouge Bouillon and found Sebastian with a short pass. Sebastian collected the ball about 35 metres out from goal, he charged forward, taking on two defenders, then entering the penalty area to take on the final covering player. The last defender came across to cover and managed to slow Seb down, but Seb was too strong and he managed to maintain possession in the penalty box. He had his back to goal, turned quickly and smashed a right footed shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net. One nil to St George’s!!!
With the score at one nil, Rouge Bouillon had had the wind knocked out of their sails a little and St George’s had settled, looking the more likely of the two teams to score next. Dante and Auden, who were both unfortunate not to start the match, were ready to come on and test some tiring Rouge Bouillon legs. They made a big impact, making a tiring defence work very hard stop them scoring. Ollie and Boden were the players to make way for them and the St George’s support applauded loudly to acknowledge the two players fine performances.
With less than two minutes left of the match, and all supporters feeling nervous, Rouge Bouillon went on the attack following a poor pass by St George’s. There was a scramble on the edge of the area before the ball was cleared towards the half way line. About 25 metres from goal the central midfielder for Rouge met the ball with a sweet strike. It was powerful and high. Andrew had no chance. The ball went over his head and into the goal. 1-1, with less than a minute of normal time left!!
Extra time was 3 minutes each way and the trophy shared if still level at the end.
The late equaliser from Rouge could easily have had a negative effect on St George’s, but they bounced back incredibly quickly. The determination to win seemed even more intense, if anything. Within 2 minutes of the first half of extra time, the ball was played behind the Rouge Bouillon defence to Dante, who had made a great run towards the penalty area. Dante took a touch to control the ball and as the keeper came to close him down, he dinked the ball right footed, over the keeper’s legs into the bottom right hand corner of the net. St George’s were leading once again, with only a few minutes left on the clock!
Rouge Bouillon’s then had their best chance to equalise. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty area. The defence formed a wall and Andrew stood in the middle of what now looked like a gigantic goal for the striker to aim for. A powerful free kick was curled towards goal, but Andrew was quick to make the stop needed and he safely gathered the rebound into his arms. The crowd cheered, knowing that time was running out for Rouge Bouillon.
St George’s played out the final minutes with the same energy and composure they had shown throughout the match and they weren’t going to be denied their victory again. The referee blew the final whistle, followed by loud celebrations from St George’s children, parents and teachers alike. Having won the trophy for the first time two years ago, St George’s were crowned Minor Cup winners for the second time in three years! A well deserved victory for all of the boys and girls involved.
Every player was vital during the cup run and in the final game. A memorable day for all concerned and credit must go to all of the boys and girls for their hard work and the vast individual improvements they all made to their games over the course of the season. Well done, St George’s Prep football team!!