Ribblesdale into quarter-finals!

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Ribblesdale School’s outstanding sporting achievements continued as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the English Schools Under 15s Cup with a nail-biting penalty win against St Francis Xavier College in Liverpool.

The game started brightly for the local lads with Lofthouse going close, before Dominic Telford saw his dipping shot crash against the cross bar.

However, against the run of play the Liverpool side took the lead after some neat passing play left Ribblesdale keeper Josh Pomfret looking on as the ball hit the net.

At half-time the boys had not really done themselves justice and started the second half with a point to prove.

They got their reward within five minutes of the restart when Telford raced on to a through ball and slotted the ball into the far corner.

Ribblesdale continued to press with central midfielder Scott Hughes taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

With Paddy Fordham and Tom Jackson holing up the defence, it looked like Ribblesdale were now in control, however the tough Liverpool lads again took the lead from the penalty spot after Pomfret brought down the opposing attacker.

With the game entering the final five minutes, Ribblesdale were thrown a lifeline when Fordham smashed home after a goalmouth scramble, sending the game into extra time.

Ribblesdale were immediately on the attack, and after great work down the right by Lofthouse, Telford smashed home his second to put the locals 3-2 up.

With weary legs, the Ribblesdale defence stood tall and fought to preserve the lead.

With two minutes to go their resistance was broken when the Liverpool side converted a cross to equalise.

The game would have finished in defeat less than 60 seconds later, but for the brilliance of goalkeeper Pomfret as he pulled off an amazing reflex save, and the game was to be decided by penalties.

Robinson remained calm to slot home before St Francis levelled, and Telford fired into the right hand corner before Pomfret pulled off an incredible save to put the Ribby lads in front.

Wharton then calmly finished, leaving the stage for Pomfret to pull off yet another outstanding save, diving to his far right to tip the ball to safety.

With one goal needed for victory, the inspirational Hughes did not let the opportunity pass, smashing the ball home to send the team into the final eight.

This is an incredible achievement and the boys’ attitude and commitment has been rewarded with some memorable moments they will never forget.

The quarter-finals have yet to be arranged as Ribblesdale meet the winners of Thomas Telford School and RSA Academy from West Bromwich, yet again away from home.