School Sport: Neighbours hope for derby final
PUBLISHED: 11:24 13 March 2012
St Martin’s and Shenfield chasing glory
Pupils from neighbouring schools Shenfield High and St Martin’s, Hutton are hours away from possibly meeting in the National Under-16 Cup final.
The two rivals were kept apart in the semi-final draw and play at the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College in Loughborough this afternoon hoping for a derby decider.
St Martin’s meet St Cuthberts, while Shenfield take on West Derby from Liverpool.
Shenfield’s Mike Naylor said: “With 742 schools entering this competition at the start of the year, it is only 20 short of the number which enter the FA Cup.
“And it’s remarkable that two schools from within two miles of each other have made the last four in the country.”
Saints celebrated a 2-0 home win over Cherwell to seal a semi-final place, while Shenfield held their nerve to win a penalty shoot-out against St Birinus School in Oxfordshire.
National Year 7 champions four years ago, Shenfield fell behind to a 30-yard wonder strike, but got back on terms thanks to Jack Morgan’s volley.
The home side regained the lead in the second half, but George Pratt hit back to force extra time.
And Shenfield’s Will Ford, Morgan, Frankie Kent and Matt Williams kept their composure to score from the spot, as Sam Cole saved the fourth St Birinus kick to set up a semi-final meeting with Liverpool’s West Derby School.
Naylor added: “After being drawn away seven times out of eight and going behind on most occasions, we really have got here the hard way.
“The boys train hard and are well supported by parents wherever we go, which has made a huge difference.
“Being only 80 minutes from another national final is nerve-wracking, but also a huge motivation for the boys in what is the most important academic year of their lives too.”
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