Valence Bonham crowned champions of Evans Moore Cup
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 November 2018
A feast of football was enjoyed at Robert Clack Leisure Centre, as 130 year five and six pupils took part in the annual Evans–Moore Cup 7-a-side competition.
This year’s event proved to be the most closely contested and exciting for more than 20 years with 14 schools taking part and 53 matches played.
Amazingly there were five penalty shootouts needed to decide the seven matches in the knockout stage.
In the group stages all teams played six matches and in group one it seemed that Richard Albion was the team to watch, as they won four matches and drew two.
They were clear winners of the group, as Valence Bonham finished second, with Grafton in third place.
Eventual finalists Ripple only scored one goal in the six matches, but had a better defensive record than William Bellamy, who despite having the same number of points, were squeezed out of the knockout stage on goal difference.
George Carey School won group two after beating every opposing side.
And last year’s winners Valence St George remained unbeaten and proceeded to the quarter-finals along with St Joseph’s Barking and Roding Cannington.
Five Elms, Godwin and Hunters Hall had provided worthy opposition for the top four in the group, but were unable to reach the next stage of the competition.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals provided enthralling encounters with only four goals scored in seven matches.
And it was somewhat bizarre that all four group one teams – Grafton, Valence Bonham, Ripple and Richard Alibon – would progress to the semi-finals.
Richard Alibon and Valence Bonham scored a goal apiece and the match went to penalties with Albion winning 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
Ripple and Grafton were evenly matched in the other semi-final and with no goals scored it was again a trip to the penalty spot.
Three shots were scored by each team, but Ripple held their nerve to win by one penalty.
The final also ended in a 0-0 stalemate after extra time, so the dreaded penalty shootout came into effect yet again.
It was Valence Bonham that won 3-2 as one of the Ripple penalties narrowly missed the target and hit the post.