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Premier League Primary Stars!
Never has an event been so aptly named! What a day we had last week on the match pitch at the Vitality Stadium, yes the actual pitch! I think I was possibly more excited than some of the children at the significance of this!
We took a team of 8 Year 4 and 5 girls and a team of 8 Year 4 boys. The pitch was split into quarters and schools divided into a number of groups. There were approximately 20 schools in total and both teams had to play 3-4 matches before it was decided who would qualify for the semi-finals.
Both teams had not trained or even played together before this tournament and as soon as we started walking over, the talk of tactics and positive sportsmanship was very evident.
The girls had a fantastic tournament with defensive skills shining through and a huge number of shooting opportunities created. They played as a team and secured 1 win, 2 draws and only 1 loss.
The boys had 3 games to play, they won the first 2 maintaining a clean sheet and then lost the final match, 2-0. This was enough for the team to qualify for the semi-finals. We faced Broadstone First who had qualified top of their group. This was a very closely fought match, with it finishing in a draw, meaning we had to go to extra time. Lucas scored a goal in the final minute which meant we were through to the FINALS!! We faced Ocean Academy again in the final and the boys had to dig really deep to find the energy to play at the level that they had done all morning. The first half started well, St James were dominating possession and we scored just before the half time whistle. Ocean Academy equalised late in the second half which meant we were again heading for extra time! The boys continued to demonstrate commitment and determination and we finished extra time 1-1 despite countless attempts with the ball hitting both the post and the crossbar. The final was to be decided by penalties! James, Lucas and Thomas stepped up to take one, James scored his, Fin saved the first taken by the other team and then Lucas scored. The 2nd penalty taken by the opponents was kicked over the cross bar to seal the victory for St James’
I was so proud to represent St James’ at the Vitality Stadium. Both the boys and girls demonstrated incredible sportsmanship and team work. It was a pleasure to spend the morning with them.
18th May 2018