St Joseph's girls secure their place at national football finals
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 May 2015
St Joseph’s Junior School in Wembley have secured their place at the Danone Cup National Finals at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on Saturday June 13.
The Under-11 girls team took part in the South East Regional Finals, representing Middlesex, as county champions at Sporting Thamesmead in south-east London.
Competing against 10 other schools who were champions of their counties. St Joseph’s were in Group A along with five other teams.
All the matches were extremely close, with small details making the difference. First up was a game against The Oaks School from Suffolk which ended in a goalless draw.
The second game saw St Joseph’s beat Essex’s representative school, Deneholm 1-0. The next two games ended 0–0 against schools representing Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.
The final group game saw the Wembley-based school earn a crucial 1–0 victory against Downley School, who were the Buckinghamshire champions. St Joseph’s amassed nine points from the group stage which meant progression to the semi-finals as runners-up.
The semi-final against Surrey champions Pirbright required St Joseph’s to show patience and decisiveness to earn a 1–0 victory.
The narrow victory guaranteed St Joseph’s a spot at the nationals as both finalists would go forward to represent the region.
The final saw St Joseph’s produce a defensive masterclass against Loose School from Kent, who had four Centre of Excellence girls in their team.
Despite mounting a couple of counter-attacks, St Joseph’s couldn’t find the breakthrough to reward their heroic defending. After extra time the final went to penalties and Loose scored three to St Joseph’s one. Both schools will now go on to represent the South East at the national finals.
Coach Ronan O’Rourke was full of praise for his team’s performance.
He said: “The girls were breathtaking. The goals scored were excellent and the attitude towards defending showed great maturity. Every game was different and the ways the girls coped with them.
“Their incredible journey in the Danone Cup has seen them become Brent champions, Middlesex champions and now South East representatives at the national finals.”