At the end of last week, the most anticipated football tournament of the Summer got underway as the Lower Sixth House teams competed for the Dale Cup in a round robin-style set of five-a-side fixtures to determine who would proudly display the gleaming trophy in their Day Room for the next year.
Thursday’s games saw Lambe’s start the tournament positively, collecting a 1-1 draw against Clothworkers’ and a tight 1-0 win over Holdgate to end the first day in pole position. Founder’s were snapping furiously at their heels after a professional 2-0 dismantling of a strong Holdgate side and they went into the Friday lunchtime fixtures with a clear desire to win.
Clothworkers’ and Holdgate clashed in an intense, fast-paced contest that ended 0-0 but the turning point of the tournament came in the hotly contested penultimate game where Lambe’s and Founder’s faced off. Knowing a victory would be enough to secure the trophy for either side, the Founder’s boys pressed hard with the sort of attacking football that the nation has been crying out for Southgate to employ. Had he been in the stands he might have learned a thing or two from the quick, aggressive passing on display by both sides. A late winner for Founder’s sent their watching fanbase into raptures and confirmed that the trophy was indeed coming home… to the Founder’s Day Room. Finishing the tournament with a 1-0 win over Clothworkers’ to end with no goals conceded and a 100% win record, there can be little dispute that Founder’s were worthy House winners.
Wednesday saw our departing Upper Sixth footballers invited back for the afternoon to compete against two Lower Sixth sides and two sides from our guests at The Judd School in a six-a-side tournament comprising of eight teams overall. With the top two teams from both groups progressing to the Semi-Finals, the games were competitive from the outset.
Both the SVS Lower Sixth and The Judd players gave great accounts of themselves against the arguably more experienced SVS Upper Sixth opposition and the group games all ended with very tight score-lines. Ultimately goal difference would prove an important factor as both Judd sides, an Upper Sixth side and a St Margaret’s side all advanced to the semis.
For the two Lower Sixth teams (and some of the Upper Sixth sides) their tournament was over as quickly as North Macedonia’s or Scotland’s had been recently. After two entertaining and spirited Semi-Finals, the Upper Sixth and St Margaret’s progressed to the Final. Whilst the two Judd teams went to a penalty shootout to determine third and fourth place, it was ultimately the Upper Sixth who prevailed in the final; putting on the sort of display we can only hope that Kane, Grealish and company can imitate over the next couple of weeks.
Both tournaments were played in support of Joe Dale’s excellent fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK. If you would like to donate towards this extremely worthwhile cause, feel free to do so here: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/joes-giving-page-230