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Barkston Boys’ football masterclass – national finalists again!

Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School boys’ football team are celebrating again, after reaching the English Schools FA national finals for the second year in a row! After winning the trophy last year to become national champions, the school has once again qualified for the national finals at the home of Premiership team Stoke City!

After being crowned regional and county champions for the 16/17 season, Barkston Ash got the opportunity to join other county champions in the north of England at the ESFA Boys’ Football Regional Finals; a prestigious competition which would decide which two teams would go on to represent the north of England in the national finals.

Barkston Ash began their defence against St Peter’s. After some exciting football from both teams, the game ended 2-2, a fair result as both teams were excellent.

The second game was a closely contested tie with the final result being 1-1 against a tough West Walker side.

Barkston Ash were now in with a great chance of reaching the semi final if they won their final group game against Cummersdale. In a very tense and highly pressured match that was end to end from kick off, Barkston Ash won with a thrilling 4-3 victory!

Onto the semi-finals where they played the winners of group A, St Bede’s, this was a tough challenge. Barkston Ash stepped up their game and both teams played out a highly competitive tie, with lots of stunning football on display, resulting in a 1-1 draw. It was now down to the drama of penalties – and then sudden death penalties. After a very enthralling penalty shoot out, that was not for the faint hearted, Barkston Ash won 5-4. Barkston had won with a trip to The ESFA National Finals at The Britannia Stadium the reward. However, there was still a final to be played. Sheer exhaustion meant that the final against St Peter’s resulted in a 2-0 defeat for Barkston Ash but both teams will now go forward to the national finals. The whole team performed at an extremely high level and showed exceptionally good sportsmanship throughout the tournament, thoroughly deserving their place at the finals. Coach and headteacher Mr Power said: After the excitement of becoming national champions last year, we didn’t expect to get to the national finals again, especially with a completely different set of players. The boys have played extremely well though and have improved their performances throughout the season. It promises to be a great day and a fantastic experience for the children.”

Well done to The Barkston Ash Football Team:  Finley, Theo, Harry, Joe, Kiam, James, Ben, Callum and Bradley