It was a crisp, sunny morning as 12 intrepid footballers from three year groups set off to the polideportivo to take part in the girls Interschools Football Tournament. In a World Cup format, teams were in groups of four with only the top two teams moving through to the knockout stages, and our girls made a strong start scoring seven goals quickly before the coach had to withdraw some of our stronger players… However, Runnymede had made a mark on the tournament and captain Lucia began her mission to win the tournament golden boot! Our second match against TEMS was a much tougher affair, but a strong start and a wonder goal from the captain settled some nerves – and what followed was slick, flowing football and the opposition never really got a look in. An angry Manuela scored an absolute thunderbolt from outside of the area – the sort of rocket that has been seen leaving the left boot of another member of her family! The final group game was against King’s, who needed to win to qualify, and perhaps feeling that the job had been done, the Runnymede girls never got into their stride and a loss meant that we had to cross our fingers and hope that goal difference would help us. Three teams had two victories, but in the end, King’s won the group, and Runnymede qualified in second place. TEMS were unlucky to make way…
And so to the semi-finals and Runnymede were up against a very strong and powerful team from Hastings. Off the back of our loss in the final group game, the girls came together and played their best match together. Good teamwork and support of each other made the difference with defenders Luna and Laura having their best games, and Alejandra and Clara’s partnership continued to blossom. Strong tackles showed the girls meant business and passes from defence to the wings kept the opposition away from our penalty box. A 1-0 win was enough to make our way into the final.
The final was to be played against King’s – the very team who had defeated us in the group stage. The Runnymede girls had a point to prove – and this is exactly what they did. They set out with intent to make a good start, and the first three minutes showed clear intent. Another thunderbolt from Manuela opened the scoring and sent the poor keeper away with an injury, before Alejandra scored a cracker in the top corner from just outside the area. Lucia, not wanting to be outdone, put her name in the scoresheet before Clara made sure that a girl from all three years had scored. We managed to get all 12 of our superstars on the pitch for the final – a resounding 4-1 win, and the trophy was ours.
We had two fantastic players, and while they led the team, they were not able to be everywhere, and the teamwork from one and all was the most rewarding thing for the coach to see. It was a highlight for me to see it all in play, and I expect the girls got a great buzz from the day. It took them more than an hour to get home – a detour via McDonalds, and slow walking to miss their exam, meant that it really had been the perfect day for them all!
Girls’ football at Runnymede has a big and bright future!