Shenfield High reflect on a memorable season as several sides reach national finals
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2019
Shenfield High School’s reputation as a school with a commitment to excellence in football has long been established, but the 2018-19 season has gone to another level.
Shenfield reached four national semi-finals, with the under-12 boys' B team losing to a strong Kingsdale team at that stage.
The under-12 boys' and under-13 and under-14 girls' teams all made finals after tense semi-finals against excellent teams.
The under-12 boys' squad played Sandwell Academy, which is where West Bromwich Albion send their Academy graduates.
Despite this, Shenfield played some brillaint passing football and dominated the early exchanges.
However, Sandwell scored from a set-piece shortly after Shenfield had a goal ruled out for offside.
Shenfield knew they needed the next goal, but Sandwell's strength in depth told in the second half as they went on to win 3-0.
Shenfield's under-13 girls' team met Crompton House CofE in their final and produced a masterclass of passing football to outwit a team that were very direct.
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A brilliant Mia Robins goal made it 1-0 after 10 minutes, before Ellie Moore finished off a superb passing play to double their lead.
Layla Kenly caused havoc down the right wing and her excellent work set up the third goal for Elise Jennings, who was equally unstoppable down the left flank.
Crompton pulled a goal back against the run of play before half-time to keep the game in the balance.
However, Shenfield continued to pressure the Crompton goal and this eventually told when Jennings scored her second, following in again at the back post to tap in.
Both schools had other chances to increase the lead, but were denied by good defending and goalkeeping and as the final whistle blew, the Shenfield girls were overjoyed to win 4-1 and be crowned national champions.
Team manager Garry Sapsford remarked: "To win a national title from over 400 schools that entered at the start of the season is a huge achievement.
"The girls' title has been built on lots of hard work and support from so many people.
"Our under-14 girls have been brilliant role models and they deserve special recognition for their role in supporting and developing this crop of under-13 players.
"We are so proud of all the teams efforts this season and hope all will have the hunger to achieve more of the same in 2019-20."
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