13th Annual Tournament
St Aelred’s RC Primary School and Burnholme Community College, York
Saturday 16th May 2009
Months of planning came to fruition when a total of 88 teams (54 boys and 34 girls) from 39 schools in the Diocese came together to participate in their respective six-a-side competitions. Playing on the 12 specially marked pitches, the first of the 231 matches in the group stages kicked off at 10.00 am under the control of 24 referees from the York and Middlesbrough areas. Running slightly behind time, the children didn’t seem bothered by the changeable nature of the weather, and when the sun shone, the riot of colour of different school football kits, the cheers, the shouts of encouragement all made for a very special atmosphere. Throughout the day, the St Aelred’s PTA, working with school catering staff, provided an excellent menu of refreshments for all to buy.
By mid afternoon, the group stages had been completed and the top two from each group in the boys and girls competitions then progressed to the knock out stages, ie the last 16 in each case. At this stage, it was impossible to tell who might be the eventual winners. In the boys event, St Pius ‘A’ from Middlesbrough were looking strong, as were St Benedict’s, Redcar together with English Martyrs from York and, sure enough, each booked their place in the quarter finals along with Corpus Christi, Middlesbrough, St Gabriel’s, Ormesby, St Bernadette’s, Nunthorpe, St Aelred’s, York and St Edward’s, Middlesbrough ‘A’. The boys quarter finals then proceeded with St Pius, Middlesbrough, Corpus Christi, Middlesbrough, St Bernadette’s, Nunthorpe and English Martyrs all progressing to the last four.
Meanwhile, in the girls competition, the last 16 produced excellent matches and the quarter finals were just as good with St Bede’s, Marske overcoming St Paulinus, Guisborough, while St Gabriel’s, Ormesby were defeated by St Joseph’s, Loftus; St Edward’s, Middlesbrough ‘A’ gained the initiative over St Thomas More, Hull and St Benedict’s, Redcar advanced to the semi final at the expense of St Bernadette’s, Nunthorpe.
The intermittent showers had left all the officials, organisers and spectators in a pretty soggy state by this time, but with no cares about the conditions and no apparent signs of fatigue, the players battled on as the tournament approached its climax.
St Pius, Middlesbrough ‘A’ won a place in the boys final after a close game with Corpus Christi, Middlesbrough and English Martyrs, who seemed to get stronger with each match, won through after beating St Bernadette’s, Nunthorpe.
In the girls competition, St Edward’s, Middlesbrough overcame St Bede’s, Marske to book a place in the final and St Benedict’s, Redcar progressed in similar fashion after defeating St Joseph’s, Loftus.
The girls final was played first with St Edward’s, Middlesbrough, who have had a proud history in this competition, running out as eventual winners leaving St Benedict’s to finish as runners up.
The boys final followed soon after, and to the credit of both teams, they withstood a torrential downpour throughout their match which finished with English Martyrs, York as winners of the boys tournament 2009.
Presentations followed with the winning teams each receiving the ‘Mike McCullagh Memorial Cup’ and gold medals, with the runners up also receiving a cup and silver medals. As is traditional in this competition, all participants (around 600) from all the schools in the Diocese also received bronze medals as a memento of what was another great day.
Other awards for the Best Banner, Most Original Pennant, Fair Play trophies (boys and girls) and spot prizes were also given out.
The Catholic Primary Schools Cup Football Tournament 2010 is scheduled to be held in Hull next May.
Tony McAvoy, Tournament Co-ordinator