Footballers from St Columba’s School in Bexleyheath missed out on the National English Schools’ FA Cup after losing in the final to Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School at Hillsborough.
The Year 10s team were accompanied by a large and enthusiastic contingent of supporters of staff, students, parents and governors to the home of Sheffield Wednesday, who were all there to witness a nail-biting game which they eventually lost 4-2.
Their opponents from Liverpool dominated the first half to open up what seemed to be an unassailable 3-0 interval advantage.
However, a brisk half-time talk from team coach Rob Donnelly saw the St Columba’s boys reinvigorated and they came out fighting.
A Michael Fenn penalty and Donald Cole strike turned the tide and suddenly the Bexleyheath side were totally in control as they pushed for an equaliser.
And they almost grabbed it in stunning fashion with just quarter of an hour remaining as Joshua Smith unleashed a 40-yard shot which left the Cardinal Heenan keeper watching helplessly as it smashed against the bar.
St Columba’s continued to pin the Liverpool side in their own area but in attempting to convert one of many the crosses which came in, Callum Flynn was unfortunately stretchered off with an ankle injury.
The resulting stoppage saw the impetus lost and a late headed goal from the opposition after a period of scrappy play sealed the result and they ran out 4-2 victors.
St Columba’s Year 10 team can’t afford to dwell on the result, however, as they face Hurstmere tomorrow (May 7) in the north Kent cup final at Thamesmead Town FC.
Despite the Hillsborough setback, head teacher Nigel Fisher praised the boys’ efforts.
He said: “The team played magnificently and were a credit to the school and the numerous supporters who travelled to Sheffield.
“It was a disappointing result but the boys were gracious and sporting in defeat and perfectly demonstrated the school ethos.”
As well as being county champions at football, St Columba’s are currently the Bexley champions in basketball, indoor rowing, table tennis and athletics.
For more information on the school, visit st-columbas.bexley.sch.uk
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