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Goals galore as South Cambs School Sports Partnership ESFA football finals are a roaring success

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Harston & Newton and Histon & Impington Juniors savoured success in the South Cambs SSP ESFA football competition at Impington Village College.

There were three different tournaments staged for the under-11 seven-a-side teams, with events for girls, large schools and small schools – fewer than 120 pupils in Key Stage 2.

They were staged in a round-robin format, with the top two teams in each pool qualifying for the final, with Cambridge United football scholars from CRC refereeing the games.

At the small schools’ event, Harston & Newton and Great Abington were the top two, with the former reaching the final for the first time having not lost a game in the group.

A long-range shot decided it 1-0 in the favour of Harston & Newton, while the Spirit of the Games award went to Burrough Green and the All Stars team, who came together at short notice after another school withdrew.

A record entry of 19 teams took part in the large schools’ event, and the group winners were Hatton Park, Waterbeach, Histon & Impington Juniors and The Vine.

Histon & Impington and The Vine continued their unbeaten run to reach the final, and it was Histon & Impington that emerged victorious to be crowned champions. Meldreth were the Spirit of the Games winners.

In the girls’ tournament, which featured 19 teams, Histon & Impington, Cottenham, Harston & Newton and The Vine finished their group matches unbeaten to reach the semi-finals.

It was again Histon & Impington and The Vine that reached the final, and Histon scored two goals to retain their title.

The All Stars team, featuring players from Harston & Newton, Cottenham and Histon, were Spirit of the Games winners after coming together when another school withdrew.

Claire McDonnell, South Cambs SSP manager, said: “All of the football competitions were a great success.

“We were delighted with the number of entries this year, particularly in the girls’ event where we had just under 200 girls taking part with many of these playing their first competitive football.

“I can only think they have been inspired by the success of the England women’s team this summer as we had nearly double the number of entries from previous years.

“Histon have always been strong in the girl’s competition but The Vine gave them a good match in the final this year which was nice to see. The game definitely seems to be growing for girls at the grassroots.

“All of the teams in all three competitions played with great respect for the opposition and officials, which is how it should be, and there was a good standard of football on display.

“All of the winners and runners up should be really proud of their achievements and we wish them luck in the county finals.”

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