Juniors Triumph At Tournament

Congratulations to CHS’s Juniors who played their way to becoming champions of the U11 AJIS Football Cup & Plate Finals Day!

CHS had three teams in the tournament with the U11 A  team taking the top prize. Here’s a report from the teams’ Coach, Mr Cartwright…

“Despite the early morning drizzle and looming rain clouds, the weather was on our side, and it quickly brightened up with the sunshine even making a guest appearance during the Cup matches in the afternoon!

The U11 AJIS Cup has been in existence since 1989, when Arnold School won it for the first time. However, this year saw a change to the format, with a ‘Plate’ and ‘Cup’ Finals day rather than the traditional FA cup style one game knockout competition over several months.

The morning saw 12 teams competing for the AJIS U11 Football Plate. After many competitive matches and close scorelines, Rossall, NULS, Oldham and St Mary’s finished top of their groups.

In an exciting quarter final between St Mary’s and Bridgewater, which had to be decided by penalties, St Mary’s progressed to the semi-finals only to be beaten 2-0 by a strong NULS team.  On the other side of the draw Oldham and Rossall both recorded 2-0 victories over Westhome and AKS respectively, before Rossall secured their place in the final by beating Oldham 2-1.

The final proved a tense affair, the NULS number 7 was constantly on the move and controlling much of the play for his team. Rossall continued their run of form however, and took an early 1-0 lead. Despite NULS best efforts they could not penetrate the Rossall defence and Rossall held on to win the Plate Final 1-0.

Rossall won the Plate Final 1-0.”

Plate teams: Rossall, NULS, Oldham Hulme, St Mary’s,  Abbey Gate, St Bede’s, Bridgewater, Kirkham, AKS, Westholme, CHS B.

The afternoon saw the arrival of the AJIS Cup qualifying teams. The games kicked off under the supervision of some excellent guest referees from Cheadle Hulme School’s Sixth Form.

King’s Chester made a strong start being the only team in the Cup to win both of their group matches. CHS, Merchant Taylors’ and King’s Macclesfield also finished top of their groups.

Group runners up Birkenhead secured a 1-1 draw against King’s Macclesfield, and eventually won on penalties. On pitch 2 King’s Chester faced The Manchester Grammar School, both schools were finalists in the 2020 cup final that was never played due to the pandemic! King’s Chester took the spoils in a narrow 1-0 win.

The third quarter final saw a key clash between Cheadle Hulme School and Stockport Grammar. After a frantic start, with both goalkeepers being tested, CHS took the lead. Gutfreund continued to stop SGS’s attempts on goal and after some intelligent play from Sim, CHS went 2-0 up. CHS found their rhythm and progressed to the semi-final, winning 4-0. Merchant Taylors, top goal scorers from the group stages, looked strong against Bury Grammar and made their way to the semi-final, 2-0.

Birkenhead, who were building momentum as the afternoon progressed, comfortably beat King’s Chester 3-0 in their semi-final. The second semi between CHS & Merchant Taylors was quite a different event. Although chances were created and saved at both ends, no team was able to break the deadlock. The game looked sure to be going to penalties until Weems, who had gone through one-on-one with the MTS keeper, was brought down from behind by an MTS defender. CHS had one last attempt to avoid penalties, and with only seconds remaining on the clock, Sim stepped up to take the free kick from the edge of the box. Sim struck the ball beautifully, straight under the wall and into the bottom corner. CHS 1 – 0 MTS.

The final was well attended by parents, staff and other schools that had stayed to see who would lift the AJIS Football Cup. More end to end football followed, both teams playing exciting, attacking football. The CHS keeper, Gutfreund, found himself under mounting pressure from the Birkenhead team but remained steadfast throughout. Eventually CHS found a chink in the Birkenhead armour through McCann who turned a low cross beautifully into the bottom corner to lead 1-0. The game returned to its previous end to end state, before CHS extended their lead through Sim shortly before the final whistle to end as worthy champions.

It was a great day for AJIS sport. To see so many children playing and enjoying football was fantastic. Well done to all of the teams that travelled to take part today and congratulations to the runners up and winners of each event. I am extremely proud on two levels, both of the pupils’ achievement in winning the cup and of the team effort from the staff. It takes a lot of hard work from all areas of the School to make an event like this a success and I would like to recognise the hard work of all those from the Estates, Technical services, Sodexo, PE Department and Junior School for their help and support in making the event such a success for all involved!”

Cup teams: Cheadle Hulme School, Birkenhead School, Manchester Grammar School, Stockport Grammar School, Merchant Taylors’ School, King’s School Macclesfield, King’s School Chester, Bolton School, Scarisbrick, The Grange, Bury Grammar & St. Ambrose.