West Sussex school footballers impress as they bid for regional and FA honours
The West Sussex West School Sport Partnership has organised a large number of football tournaments recently, many of which filter through to the English Schools Football Association Danone Cup.
Bognor and Chichester had two separate area A team Year 5/6 tournaments and the top three of each came together in a competitive final.
The Bognor tournament had ten teams competing and was hosted at The Regis School and Arena Sports Centre. The quality 3G astro turf pitches provided host to some intense matches.
Referees were sports leaders from The Regis School, who did a fantastic job, confident and in control throughout. The top three teams that reached the final were Rose Green, Southway and Downview. It was a tight competition, but it was Rose Green who just edged it with bragging rights for the Bognor area.
The Chichester tournament was hosted at the University of Chichester, and was again refereed byRegis School sports leaders. Eight teams slogged it out to make the top three. Parklands were first, North Mundham second and Barnham third.
The SSP final had the six best teams in the West Sussex West area – Rose Green, Southway, Downview, North Mundham, Parklands and Barnham. Downview took top spot, stepping up from the Bognor tournament to win all their games.
With a three-way tie on points for second spot, goal difference determined that Southway were second, Rose Green third , North Mundham fourth. Parklands were fifth and Barnham sixth.
To increase the number of children accessing school football and creating similar abilities, three other competitions followed: WSW SSP hosted a ‘small schools tournament’ for schools with no more than 100 children in their Year 3-6.
Six schools took part and there was a dominant display from Funtington Primary, retaining their crown from last year.
The high-quality girls’ tournament followed. Ten teams took part with Southway even providing two teams. On a very chilly day, they all wanted to play every game to keep warm.
Consistent Southway put up a great fight but it was Bishop Tufnell who took the glory, winning this competition for a fourth year in five, a phenomenal achievement.
The B team tournament followed for any school that had a team represented in the area tournaments, with rules that no child that previously played in the A team could participate, ensuring new children had the opportunity to represent their school.
The tournament had a fantastic atmosphere with around 80 children, many of whom were representing their school for the first time. Bishop Tufnell shone again, taking top spot and only dropping two points.
Bishop Tufnell made it a hat-trick by winning the Year 3/4 football tournament.
All five tournaments showed professional sportsmanship and there were handshakes with opponents and referees on a regular basis - a real pleasure to witness.
The area winners, girls’ winners and small schools winners did the area proud at the county final in Lancing, in particular Downview, who went out in the semi-finals on a controversial penalty shootout.
School sport partnership manager Sean O’Connor has wished them luck in the next round. “It is great to see so many different children representing their schools with more than 500 competitors involved. Schools can access all kind of sports via the WSW SSP throughout the academic year via www.westsussexwestssp.co.uk
Results - Girls - 1 Bishop Tufnell, 2 Southway team 1, 3 Bartons, 4 South Bersted, 5 Southbourne, 6 St Mary’s, 7 Southway team 2, 8 Tangmere, 9 Birdham, 10 Walberton & Binsted. Small schools - 1 Funtington, 2 West Dean, 3 Medmerry, 4 Birdham, 5 West Wittering, 6 Boxgrove. B teams: 1 Bishop Tufnell, 2 Rose Green, 3 Southway, 4 Edward Bryant, 5 Nyewood, 6 St Mary’s, 7 Parklands, 8 Barnham. Bognor area: 1 Rose Green, 2 Downview, 3 Southway, 4 Bishop Tufnell, 5 Bersted Green, 6 Edward Bryant, 7 Walberton & Binsted, 8 Aldingbourne, 9 St Mary’s, 10 South Bersted. Chichester area: 1 Parklands, 2 North Mundham, 3 Barnham, 4 March, 5 West Dean, 6 Southbourne, 7 Westbourne, 8 KingshamArea final: 1 Downview, 2 Southway, 3 Rose Green, 4 North Mundham, 5 Parklands, 6 Barnham. Year 3/4: 1 Bishop Tufnell, 2 Edward Bryant team 1, 3 Southway, 4 Parklands, 5 Rose Green, 6 St Mary’s, 7 Boxgrove, 8 Edward Bryant team 2, 9 Birdham, 10 West Dean.