U18 football 1st XI crowned Society of Heads Cup winners

Our 1st XI football team were crowned The Society of Heads U18 Cup Winners last week against Bristol Grammar School. The game was held at The New Saints of Oswestry Town FC‚Äč and it was a comprehensive victory for us with an 8-0 final score.

The Society of Heads is a dynamic and vibrant community of independent schools who share innovative ideas and approaches to learning. Their aim is to help provide appropriate and balanced curriculums within schools, which actively foster and develop key attributes in pupils offering them the best chance of thriving in tomorrow’s future.

We arrived at the final in mediocre form having won the semi-final 6-1 against Westholme School, Blackburn before losing 2-0 to Codsall Community High School in the Shropshire Schools and Colleges Football Association (SSCFA) league. Our boys were determined to put in a performance in the knowledge that The Venue at TNS would suit their style of football.

From the whistle we looked to dominate position, with full-backs high and wide and Yat Wong and Ryan Nyamandi playing either side of the No. 9 Lloyd Evans in a 4-3-3 formation. Oswestry scored their first goal after 17 minutes with a ball forward from Fergus Yang, into Lloyd Evans' feet, who held up and set to Dennis Bates who then slipped Ryan Nyamandi through on goal to slot between the keepers legs. Movement off the centre-half brought the second goal as a ball over the top sat up for Lloyd Evans to lob the keeper from just outside the box. A neat shift of play set Leroy Celotto off down the right wing and he sent a deep cross into the box that Fergus Yang headed onto the crossbar abd followed up with a poked in goal from 6 yards. Ryan Nyamandi added his second with a low finish to the keepers left from 12 yards before Matthew Kirk was played through on goal (only seconds after coming onto the pitch) to slot past the Bristol keeper. This made the score 5-0 at half time. Bristol had a couple of chances early in the game including hitting the crossbar with a curled shot from 18 yards and a close effort from a corner mid-way through the first half. However, it was Oswestry who took their chances and went in to the break with a commanding lead.

We also looked to dominate possession in the 2nd half against a dispirited Bristol side. Matthew Kirk claimed his 2nd after an excellent touch, shimmied past the centre-half and finished into the corner in what was a carbon copy of Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina in France 1998. Ryan Nyamandi completed his hat-trick with another excellent finish to cap off a ‘Man of the Match’ performance, but there was still time for Dennis Bates to score from the spot after Ryan Nyamandi was fouled in the box. Bristol had a couple of chances in the 2nd half but were thwarted by Oswestry keeper Cameron Griffith-Norris who made his 1st team U18 debut despite only being in Year 10.

The 1st XI team are coached by Alun Morris, an ex-pupil of the school, current PE teacher at the school and defender for Cefn Druids AFC. He commented, “I am extremely proud of the squad. The Society of Heads teams have been challenging and the boys have had to work hard to get to the final. It was a comprehensive win for them and one that was well-deserved. I would particularly like to thank The News Saints FA for hosting the final, not only for the U18s, but also for the U15 and U13 teams. Their support made the day special for all the players and parents who travelled to the games. The school team have also played well in the Shropshire U19 league and finished third in League 1 closely behind Codsall and Thomas Telford. We are all looking forward to a rest over the next few months before the season begins again in September.”

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