balksHarrow Way Community School and Lions in the Community, in association with Sparsholt and Andover Colleges, played host to 250 young footballers, 28 teams, 18 schools, 18 Harrow Way Year 7 leaders and about 800 minutes of football!  Throughout the two days of competition, the standard of football and respect shown, to fellow players and officials, was excellent and a credit to the young people, staff and schools involved.

IMG_2737Andover College students, under the stewardship of Cathy Devereux and Rhonda Salmon, ran the Rural Schools’ Football Tournament whilst for the fifth year, Sparsholt College students planned, organized and ran the Town Schools’ Tournament with a high level of skill and efficiency.

The 12 rural teams were divided into two pools, with everyone in each pool playing each other. Innovative play with flair and skill shone through the matches but only two teams in each pool could reach the semi-finals. Kimpton and St Mary Bourne were the winners of these, with Kimpton picking up the gold medals after an excellent final. Third place went to Clatford A with Shipton Bellinger A fourth. Appleshaw St Peter’s, Abbotts Ann, Amport, Smannell and Enham, Hatherden and Barton Stacey also took part in what was one of the best rural competitions for many years!

The Town Schools’ Tournament saw Anton, Balksbury and Portway entering three teams each, Whitchurch and Vigo entering two teams and Andover Primary, St John’s RC Primary and Discovery Federation also entering teams. An excellent four hours of skilful football and teamwork followed a welcome by Sparsholt students, Chris and Nathan.  Teams were divided into four pools, with first and second placed teams going through to the Cup competition, and 3rd and 4th placed teams entering the Shield competition. The knock-out stages saw some extremely close games, with many exciting golden goals, penalty shoot outs and even a sudden death penalty shoot-out! In the Cup, Balksbury A, a very strong team throughout the tournament, earned themselves the 2014 title and picked up the trophy and medals; runners-up were Portway. In the Shield final, Whitchurch, last year’s cup winners, beat Vigo in another closely fought and entertaining match.

Rhonda Salmon, School Sport Coordinator at Harrow Way, said: ‘Huge thanks must go to all the players, parents and staff of the schools without whom we would not have had such an excellent two days of football played in an exceptionally respectful manner. I would also like to express my thanks to Andover and Sparsholt College students and staff, Cathy Devereux and her Lions in the Community team and Harrow Way Community School and its Year 7 Sports Leaders.’