RIBBLESDALE High School’s Year 10 footballers fell just short in the English Schools’ Under-15s Cup Final at Pride Park against Oasis Academy Shirley Park, Croydon.
After conquering the North of England, the locals came unstuck at the home of Derby County.
Expectations were high going into the final, and with an unbeaten run stretching back 14 months, the local boys were brimming with confidence.
The Oasis team, packed with Crystal Palace Academy players, soon showed they possessed plenty of ability.
For the first 20 minutes, the Ribblesdale boys had to work overtime just to contain their opponents. However, the defence stood tall, and long-range efforts did little to trouble Josh Pomfret in the Ribblesdale goal.
But after 25 minutes, Oasis did take the lead.
Ribblesdale almost equalised two minutes later when Robinson raced clear but his goal was ruled out by an offside flag.
The second half was an even affair.
Ribblesdale almost levelled with 20 minutes left when the lively Telford found himself clear inside the 18-yard box, but his left-foot strike was well saved.
Oasis then went straight on the attack and scored to make it 2-0, and as Ribblesdale threw caution to the wind, Oasis broke once more and finished clinically.
Despite the defeat, the achievement of reaching the English Schools’ final cannot be underestimated, with the whole of the community getting behind Ribblesdale.
Special thanks must go to the mayors of Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley for travelling down to support the boys.
• RIBBLESDALE lessened the blow of their English Schools’ Cup Final defeat by winning the Lancashire Schools’ title at Ewood Park.
And the school celebrated a cup double on the night, as the Under-14s followed suit in a local tussle with Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.
The Under-15s beat Archbishop Temple School, Preston, 4-0.
Tom Jackson fired Ribblesdale into a half-time lead, before captain Dom Telford hit a second-half hat-trick.
And the Under-14s completed a superb night for the school, beating local rivals Clitheroe RGS 2-1 in the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Schools’ District Cup final.