Stamford High School U18 Football team through to the Independent Schools National Cup Final
Last Thursday (29th April) Stamford played Repton School in the Independent Schools National Cup Semi-final. The U18 squad consisted of 14 girls from Years 10 to 13. The team had beaten Malvern School, 7-0, and Wellingborough School, 7-0, to reach to the semi-final, which this was their first home game.
With the prospect of rain all the girls turned up at the Stamford AFC football ground after school ready to play. We knew that this was going to be a difficult game as Repton won the cup last year. The first half was very close with many shots on goal from Stamford, but none successful. Repton had a couple of breaks but the defence remained strong and goal-keeper Hannah Paish made some excellent saves to stop Repton’s attacks.
Our midfield and attack kept pressuring the Repton defence and after an amazing run down the right wing from midfielder Emma Couzens, a cross across goal was tapped in by striker Hannah Shiels just before the half time whistle. So with the score at 1-0 at half time we went back on the field with a positive attitude. With Stamford on the attack, striker Lauren Rigby had a break in the penalty box only to be pushed off the ball by a Repton defender. The referee awarded a penalty to Stamford, which Lauren Rigby slotted into the back of the net to make the score 2-0 to Stamford. With the Defence holding off any Repton attacks, Stamford seemed to be looking at a 2-0 victory. However, with 5 minutes to go left winger Jade Parsons took a left footed shot from just inside the Repton half, and skilfully lobbed the Repton keeper to make the score 3-0. With Repton’s immediate kick-off from the Stamford goal, our midfielders took advantage of the shock goal by stealing the ball from the Repton attack and, after some skilful passing from our midfield, Emma Couzens slotted the ball in the back of the net, to make the final score 4-0 to Stamford. We remain an unbeaten team this season and we are now the Northern Independent School champions and will go on to play the Southern champions in a couple of weeks for the title of National Independent School champions!
The U18 team consisted of: Hannah Paish, Annisa Zac, Rachel Garratt (Captain), Maria Davies, Ellie Davies, Genny Peck, Nadia Allen, Emma Couzens, Rebecca Pallisar, Jade Parsons, Lauren Rigby, Hannah Shiels, Charlotte Spice and Sarah Arthur.
By Rachel Garratt