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ERPSSA Girls' Football Tournament
On Friday 9th November the girls’ football team joined 12 other schools in the ERPSSA 7-a-side tournament at Cleves School in Weybridge. Thankfully the rain stayed away, the breeze blew gently and the pitches were in excellent playing condition – all was set for an exciting afternoon. Our first game saw us up against a very strong team from St Ignatius in Sunbury; a highly competitive, end to end game finished 0-0 despite good chances at both ends. The second match against Bell Farm, Hersham was a tale of missed chances and bad fortune. Despite Holy Family being the better team and having 4 wonderful opportunities to score, a single break-away goal led to a 1-0 victory to Bell Farm.
Following a positive team meeting and revised tactics (where we discussed the importance of introducing the little white spherical thing to the big white rectangular thing with the nets tied on), we continued our campaign invigorated and confident. Our third game against Ashley School, Walton saw us play some excellent football. We were solid in defence (again), competitive in midfield and increasingly dangerous in attack. We were threatening the Ashley goal…then the curse of the wounded knee struck as Sophie (our main goal scoring weapon) fell awkwardly in a tackle and had to be carried from the field. ‘A little bit of ligament damage’ was Dr Tindall’s immediate assessment and minutes later the unfortunate Sophie was off to the hospital. Several hours later the real doctor at St Peter’s diagnosed ‘light ligament damage’ to the knee. Not a bad initial assessment…I may open up a sideline business in injury diagnosis; there’s plenty of call for it in the Premier League with all the rolling around on the ground that goes on. Anyway, back to the action – with our flow of attacking play disrupted due to the delay, the game ended 0-0. Our final 2 games were against the 2 strongest teams in the group and we played with great determination and effort. We never gave in and I was extremely proud of the team, especially as we are a relatively young team (only 4 Year 6 girls were on the field in the final 2 matches). A 1-0 defeat to Esher Church School was followed by a 2-0 defeat to the hosts Cleves. Our captain took my earlier edict of ‘Whatever happens, we must score before the end of the day’ too literally by deciding to smash one beautifully into the corner of our net in the final game but as I pointed out to her, if she hadn’t done it, one of the 3 Cleves players in our penalty box with her would have done the same thing. No damage done – over the course of the tournament our captain was our best player and led by example all the way through.
Overall it was an excellent day and I was immensely proud of our team. The girls were beautifully behaved and a real pleasure to work with. They represented our school superbly and were everything we expect Holy Family children to be. We also learned a lot and will be a better team for our forthcoming fixtures. Our next game (November 28th) is away to Cardinal Newman…clearly a very special fixture for me. I look forward to it, I’m sure it will be a cracking game.
Team – Eleanor Sandri-Healy (Captain), Zara Pucci, Sophie Rawlinson, Lily McDaid, Harriet Gono, Brogan Fleming, Alysia Beams, Tiffany Smith, Joey Siow.
Please visit the gallery for photographs of the girls in action at the tournament!