Tuesday 22nd November 2016 saw the much anticipated Raynes Park Cluster Best Team Football Tournament take place at Raynes Park High School. It was the turn of the Year 5 and 6’s to display their footballing talent through their silky skills, lethal finishing and dedicated defence. It was fantastic to see all eleven cluster schools present with a total of 13 teams taking part. Sides were split into two groups with schools aiming to finish in the top two positions of their group to ensure qualification for the Borough Finals.

 Group 1 was a showcase of individual performances, both on the outfield and in goal. Sacred Heart, West Wimbledon and Hillcross A got off to strong starts, all picking up points thanks to some fabulous goals coupled with resolute defences. Sacred Heart, in particular, looked impressive during their 4-0 win over Hillcross A. This seemed to sting Hillcross A into action as their flair players came to the fore in successive victories against St Matthew’s and Merton Park (in which they scored a remarkable solo winner). After an early setback, West Wimbledon played some superb football with their standout performance coming from a four goal triumph over Merton Park. Merton Park to their credit regrouped and came back strongly to get a well-deserved 1-0 victory over a battling Hillcross B side. St Matthew’s and Argon also played some clinical and tactical football. This was epitomised when the two sides met each other with St Matthew’s running away with a tight 1-0 victory in the closing stages of the match.

  1. Sacred Heart: 18 points
  2. West Wimbledon: 13 points
  3. Hillcross A: 12 points
  4. St Matthew’s: 9 points
  5. Aragon: 6 points
  6. Merton Park: 3 points
  7. Hillcross B: 0 points

 Group 2 consisted of six very evenly matched teams. This placed a real premium on a team’s ability to score crucial goals as well-organised defences dominated. Poplar A and Hatfeild got off to good starts against Joseph Hood and Poplar B respectively, both teams orchestrated some superb team goals as well as a couple of fantastic individual efforts to win these matches 3-0 and 5-0. When Hollymount won their first game of the group, the fight for the top two spots really heated up. St John Fisher finished the group strongly with a win and a draw and provided much entertainment in thanks to some stunning goal-keeping and fast counter-attacking football. Not to be outdone, the keeper at Poplar B also earned praise from his team-mates and the opposition, however, it was at the other end of the pitch that they struggled. They were unfortunate to finish fifth in the group as at times they played some good attacking football but couldn’t quiet finish off the chances that they created. Hatfeild kept the pressure on Poplar A right up until the final fixture where Poplar came back from a goal behind to secure an important draw and give them the deciding point to top the group. A special mention must also be given to Joseph Hood who despite not being able to register a win during the group stages, never gave up and battled in each game right up until the final whistle was blown.  

  1. Poplar A: 11 points
  2. Hatfeild: 10 points
  3. Hollymount: 9 points
  4. St John Fisher: 5 points
  5. Poplar B: 4 points
  6. Joseph Hood 0 points

 Teams from Groups 1 and 2 then played off to determine final positions. Merton Park eventually found their shooting boots as they defeated Joseph Hood to claim 11th place overall. Perseverance paid off for Aragon against Poplar B as they held their nerve in a tense penalty shootout to score the vital goal that earned them a 9th place finish. Two well organised sides (St John Fisher and St Matthews) contested the 7th/8th play-off. St John Fisher’s athleticism and energy proved to be the deciding factor in a well-deserved 2-0 victory. Hillcross A’s passing style enabled them to score a deceive team goal against Hollymount to gain 5th place. Hatfeild saved their best performance of the tournament until the very last game to shut out an equally impressive West Wimbledon team to score a vital and winning goal to take 3rd place. The final was played between the two most consistent teams of the competition so far: Poplar A and Sacred Heart. In a fantastic footballing fixture, Sacred Heart’s passing and moving philosophy paid dividends as they went 2-0 up. A late Poplar A consolation goal was not enough to deny Sacred Heart and they finished Raynes Park Cluster Best Team Football winners!

  1. Sacred Heart RC
  2. Poplar A
  3. Hatfeild
  4. West Wimbledon
  5. Hillcross A
  6. Hollymount
  7. St John Fisher RC
  8. St Matthew’s C of E
  9. Aragon
  10. Poplar B
  11. Merton Park
  12. Joseph Hood
  13. Hillcross B

Good luck to our Raynes Park representatives at the Borough Finals!

Thank you and well done to all of the players – your attitude and performance levels were of the highest order. The Raynes Park Sports Leaders were once again a real credit to their school. Finally, huge congratulations to this tournaments REFSPECT winner who was Hollymount’s goal keeper. This player showed some outstanding leadership, respect and sportsmanship to all teaching staff and his competitors after each match – well done! Furthermore, thanks to school staff and adults for organising their teams so thoroughly and helping the event to run smoothly and in a positive manner.

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