Last Saturday morning saw nine Year 6 boys head to the leafy suburbs of Croydon
and to the Royal Russell School U11 football tournament. With the magnificent sunshine
and immaculate pitch conditions the boys were excited before a ball was even kicked.
The boys had five group games; the first beginning at 9:15am against Elmhurst. A slow
and nervous start saw a lack of confidence in control and passing. The boys were muscled off the ball and went 1-0 down before finding some rhythm and equalising through a fine header from Chibuikem. The game finished 1-1. Game two was against the hosts which meant the nerves did not ease. The boys conceded an early goal and despite a valiant
effort lost 1-0.
The third game was a must win against Falcons and the boys knew this. Nerves were shaken off and determination took over. Zamir (2) and Chibuikem with the goals sealing a well deserved 3-0 win. The next game followed suit. Charlie worked tirelessly up front and with goals from Zamir, Chibuikem, a penalty from Felix and a fine header from Barnaby, Babington House were confined to a 4-0 defeat. KCS Wimbledon were the opposition for the final group game. The boys played very well but could not get a goal. Dawud, who was excellent throughout the tournament, stood firm in goal and after some fine saves the game ended scoreless. This meant we finished second in the group and went through to the Cup Semi Finals.
In the Semi Final, Wetherby stood in the way. Hal, Will and Barnaby were superbly solid in defence and calm on the ball. With their best football yet, the boys tore them apart with some fine passing and Zamir twice finished superbly to earn a 2-1 victory.
The Final saw us up against Downsend, who overcame the hosts 3-1 in the Semi Final. A disciplined and gutsy performance was needed and that is exactly what was produced. Daniel was immense in everything he did and his work rate was incredible. All of this paid off with a fine team goal. Dawud rolled the ball to Hal, who passed a fine ball to Chibuikem. He took a touch and laid it on to Zamir whose shot was parried by the keeper only for Daniel to slide in a finish. The game ended 1-0 and the boys celebrated victory. Royal Russell Sports Department presented the medals to the joyous boys and Will lifted the Cup. Champions! All that was left to do was enjoy the BBQ.
A special thank you to all the parents who took their boys and supported them throughout. The boys should be hugely proud of their efforts and proved that with hard work, discipline and teamwork, success will follow. Well done boys!