The rain poured on the ESFA PlayStation Schools’ Cup Festival for a third successive day as more national champions were crowned at Pride Park.
The day opened with a thriller in the U12 PlayStation Open Schools’ Cup final as Riddlesdown Collegiate and Thomas Telford played out an entertaining 2-2 draw before a penalty shootout loomed. Thomas Telford had fought back from 2-0 down to level the game and maintained that momentum as they secured a 3-2 spot-kick success.
The Under 13 PlayStation Schools’ Cup was the next game to be contested as St Bede’s Catholic Middle School brought a travelling following of over 500 fans from Redditch with them. The game was the first of the two to be commentated on by Clive Tyldesley, who kindly lent his support to the Festival for the day. The noisy St Bede’s contingent had plenty to shout about as they ran out 2-0 winners against All Hallows Catholic School.
Thomas Telford lined up for the second final as they took on Whitgift School in the Under 13 Open Schools’ Cup. It proved to be the Telford school’s second trophy of the day and third of the Festival as after a 1-1 draw in normal time, they secured a 5-4 penalty success. The celebrations continued into the dressing room where they were joined by Everton and England star Leighton Baines who congratulated them on their great success.
Unfortunately, due to the rapidly deteriorating conditions, the two remaining finals were postponed as a waterlogged pitch was deemed unplayable by the match referees. This was a decision fully supported by the four affected schools who understood the high risk of injury involved in playing on the soaked surface. News on the rearranged dates for the U14 Schools’ Cup for Girls and Under 15 Open Schools’ Cup will be communicated in due course.