Both ISA qualifiers for the Under 11 Girls Football Cup for Independent Schools have now been completed and we were delighted to see so many happy girls playing the beautiful game.
The first event, on Thursday 18th May was held at Carrington Training Centre, home of Bury FC. Nine teams from Kenilworth up to Stockton-on-Tees travelled to support the event and show that girls football is beginning to thrive from an early age. Participating schools included Crackley Hall, The Crescent, Malvern St James, Queen Ethelburga’s, Scarisbrick Hall, Brabyns, Abbotsford and Red House.
The early stages of the tournament saw all teams battling in many close matches. The girls were playing with an excellent attitude, exemplifying behaviours that the adult male version of the game should learn by. In a one league format, results were so close that when we reached the final two matches, all four teams could qualify. When the final whistle was blown, it was Scarisbrick Hall who pipped Crackley Hall to second place, narrowly by goal difference. Queen Ethelburga’s secured the position at the top of the table having gone unbeaten all day and the impressed throughout.
The second qualifier was played in the South at Saint Nicholas School, who were the perfect hosts providing excellent pitches and the most hospitable welcome. Overall there were eleven participating schools who had travelled the breadth of the south from Somerset to Hampshire to Central London. They were Saint Nicholas, Alton Convent, Maple Walk, King’s House, The Gower, St Teresa’s, The Park, Rosemead, Oakfield Prep, Holme Grange and Gateway. Thank you to everyone who supported the event.
In a two-league format, teams could barely be separated and if ever, only by the solitary goal. The competitiveness was outstanding and the girls continued to exemplify how football should be played. Once again, the final placings were still undecided as we reached the final round of group matches. Eventually, Alton Convent squeezed in to top spot after Gateway were held to a draw by a very good Park School team. In the other group, The Gower School won their final match to earn a place at nationals.
The final was closely fought between two teams in very good form. Eventually, a penalty kick was powered in to the goal by The Gower School striker and they were crowned Champions of the South.
ISA Sport must say a huge thank you to all participating schools who entered both of these events and continue to inspire girls to invest in football. Congratulations to Queen Ethelburga’s, Scarisbrick Hall, The Gower School and Alton Convent who will all travel to St George’s Park on Monday 26th June to represent ISA against all the other qualifiers. We wish you the very best of luck!