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On what was a gloriously sunny Sunday morning at Queens College in Taunton, the Colts A team began the challenge of the IAPS National Football Finals; it is the second time the school has qualified in 4 years and a fabulous achievement by the Year 6 boys

The team started the first game against Hall Grove School (Surrey) and it took a while for them to hit their stride. There was some superb defending from the team, but Hall Grove were clinical in front of goal and took the victory 2-0.

Our second game against Eaton House The Manor (London) ended in a 0-0 draw but the team were unlucky not to take the 3 points, as they were superb in attack and showed some fantastic individual moments of magic. Eaton House The Manor are a very good team, who also played some magnificent football and a 0-0 result was a fair reflection on the game, by now though the boys were firing on all cylinders and were ready for the next group game.

St Christopher’s were our third game in the group and the boys started the game at a furious pace with T Smith scoring the first goal. The team kept looking for the second goal and we were caught napping on the counter attack which allowed St Christopher’s to score a goal in the dying moments.

Next up for the team was King Edward’s (Bath) and a victory was needed to give us hope of moving on in the competition. At this point, up stepped A Goodwin with a crucial goal and H Richmond in goal who, with some brave heroics, managed to keep the ball out of the net after a head clash that allowed us to take the much needed 1-0 victory.

On to our final group game against Ardingly (Sussex) and the group was very close with any of 4 teams able to take the 2nd spot in the group which would allow us to progress to the main competition cup Quarter Finals. H Richmond was injured after the head clash, so L Selvey-Clinton went in goal for the team and performed admirably. The team had 90% of possession and T Smith scored a fantastic goal, which allowed us to play some expansive football. Ardingly managed to counter attack on few occasions and scored a good goal to make the final score 1-1.

After a short wait, the team found out that they had finished second in the group, which meant they progressed to the Quarter Finals of the main Cup competition – a massive achievement, as every team at the finals was justifiably the best of the best in the country, with St Michael’s being one of them.

Royal Russell were our opponents in the Quarter Final and they have a fabulous and impressive footballing history. The boys were very disciplined and having H Richmond back in goal gave the team confidence which allowed us to play some solid football. It was a very even match until the final 3 minutes of the game, where Royal Russell scored 3 fantastically quick goals which effectively ended the game for us. The team never gave up and played until the final whistle in true St Michael’s spirit, giving their all to the very end. Congratulations to Royal Russell who went on to claim the overall title of IAPS National Champions.

The team were a credit to themselves, the school and parents and it was lovely to see four years of hard work for the team, with targets set out by themselves as a team a long time ago met and achieved. I hope memories were created for the boys on a fantastic day for everyone involved.

Mr Lopez

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