Following on from a successful tournament at Goals, our boys' and girls' football team took part in the regional finals. Described by Finn as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity, the venue (Staplewood) certainly didn't disappoint. The opportunity to play in the multi-million pound dome, get signatures from several of the under 23 Southampton players (Kieran Freeman and Harlem Hale) and compete against the best sides from across Hampshire and Wiltshire made this an incredible experience for all the children involved.
Bitterne Park 1-0 St Marks
The boys made a brilliant start by scoring within 10 seconds with a pinpoint shot from George. Throughout the opening phases, the front three of Blake, Joe and George had a telepathic fluidity about them and with a bit more luck would have had scored several more. Max made an excellent substitute performance, coming on to add a touch of assurance to close out the game.
Bitterne Park 0 -7 Kings Worthy
Although the scoreline suggests this was a one sided game, the boys should be proud of how they kept their heads up, especially with the class shown by the other side. Numerous moments of sublime skill saw them claim this victory.
Bitterne Park 0 - 3 St Monica
This game started tightly with close chances for both sides. A touch more luck would have seen the boys ahead before two quick goals for the opposition set the game in St Monica's favour. A real highlight of the game was a world class triple save from Finn. A real stellar performance from the boys against a team which went on to be finalists in this tournament.
Bitterne Park 0-3 Scantabout
An early shot from Blake in this game set up a dominant start for the boys. As Scantabout grew into the game, Tom and Finn showed their steel in defence by keeping things tight before being finally outdone by the pre-tournament favourites.
Well done boys, to reach the quarter final of a regional tournament is a remarkable achievement!
Bitterne Park 0 - 0 Halterworth
The girls started against a tough side, who showed their pace and trickery from the outset. Macy was instrumental in goal: a string of great saves in this game kept the opposition at bay. Close to the mid point of the game, Ella was unlucky to have a powerful shot saved. Both sides walked away from this game very happy with a draw.
Bitterne Park 1-0 St Marks
In a second tight game for the girls, it was clear a moment of class would decide the game. Leyla had two shots of this quality: the first forced a great save from the keeper; the second took a deflection off a defender and sailed into the back of the net. Katie came on and kept things tight to ensure the girls sealed the first 3 points of their day.
Bitterne Park 0-1 Fair Isle
The girls showed lively passing from the outset, with the opposition packing their box to prevent them from taking the lead. Our girls continued to dominate the game and possession before being caught out by an excellent counter attack from Fair Isle.
Bitterne Park 1-0 St Francis
The girls started the knockout stages of the tournament with renewed vigour and a quite outstanding goal from Leyla inside 30 seconds. The girls closed out the rest of the game excellently with Martha's defence being pivotal in keeping St Francis' attacks to a minimum throughout the game.
Bitterne Park 2-0 Fair Isle
In a repeat of a group game, the girls' growth in quality was clear. Again they clearly dominated possession, this time they made sure of the victory. Ella's powerful shot (from a long way out) was 'too hot too handle' and comfortably nestled into the back of the net. Moments later, Amy made a clever run and an even cleverer finish into the bottom right corner to seal the victory.
Bitterne 2-0 Halterworth
The girls knew this could be their moment and the performance they showed from the first whistle reflected their determination and eagerness to stand up and be counted. An incredible performance from Mollie saw their star player marked throughout and effectively stifled out of the game. This left the game open for our attackers to take their chances. Leyla had a fantastic shot with the goalkeeper pulling off a great save leading to a corner. The resulting attack from this corner saw Leyla craft an opening before smashing the ball into the roof of the net (1-0). Shortly after this an instinctive run from Ella saw her through to a 1 on 1 with the keeper. A clever, precise finish left the girls with a comfortable win (2-0).
On such an occasion the word 'proud' would often be used to describe the girls' achievements. Winning a tournament against sides selected from across two counties with such talent, team spirit, maturity and above all else excellent sporting behaviour means that such a word does not do their achievements justice.
Well done Girls- you were incredible today!