The Schools’ Cup Roundup- March 2023

As the ESFA National Schools’ Cups enter their final stages, the ESFA’s official photographer, Garry Griffiths from 353 Photography, takes a look back at some of the best ESFA Schools’ Cup fixtures from the last couple of months

ESFA Women’s U18 Super League

Our shortest trip of the later competition stages was to Oldbury, as Sandwell College beat Hartpury 3-1 to advance to the last four of the Women’s U18 Super League, on the back of a strong performance at Newbury Lane. Another last four team in the Women’s Super League, St Joseph’s College, put on an impressive Friday afternoon display in a 4-0 win at Blenheim High School. The win secured a quarter final spot where they went on to defeat Queen’s School, setting up an exciting semi final away to Surbiton High School.

ESFA Men’s U18 Super League

In the Men’s U18 Super League, we saw Bishop Burton score two goals late on to win 3-1 at home to Rossall School. Having missed multiple opportunities to take a first half lead, it was early in the second half when the Yorkshire side edged ahead. The visitors equalised late on and there was a sense they would rue their missed chances, but two quick fire goals in injury time sealed their progress to the next round. Having since beaten Pro:Direct Academy Northampton to take their place in the semi finals, they await the draw to find out who stands between themselves and the final.

A trip to Harris City Academy Crystal Palace saw a cracking tie as the hosts took a first-half lead from the penalty spot, only for Portsmouth College to level things up following a bright start. The hosts took the lead again, only for the visitors to once more find an equaliser. Harris City went on to score two late goals to secure a spot in the quarter finals with a 4-2 win.

ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup for B Teams

Cardinal Newman Catholic High School reversed their home fixture against Northampton School for Boys in the last eight of the ESFA U18 Schools’ Cup for B Teams, with work on a new artificial pitch taking place at their school. However, the loss of home advantage was not an issue, as a strong second half performance saw them come from 1-0 down to win 5-1. The following week, Cardinal Newman CS secured their place in the final with a semi-final victory over Southend School.

ESFA U13 PlayStation Schools’ Cup for Girls

Stratford upon Avon School progressed to a quarter final tie with Wright Robinson College after a 5-1 win at home to Thomas Telford School, despite the visitors putting in a strong second half performance. Wright Robinson College have already confirmed their spot in the final, after their U13 Boys’ B Team edged past Thomas Telford on penalties.

ESFA U13 PlayStation Small Schools’ Cup and ESFA U12 PlayStation Small Schools’ Cup

Our first semi final of the season saw Mary Webb School score a late free kick to advance to the final of the ESFA U13 PlayStation Small Schools’ Cup, with a 2-1 win over Hymers College. Later that day we saw another last four tie as Repton Prep hosted Ovingham Middle School in the ESFA U12 PlayStation Small Schools’ Cup. The visitors won the tie 4-1 making their overnight stay and long journey home all the more enjoyable.

ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup

Trinity School will travel to face The Ashcombe School in the U14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup semi finals, after they held on to win a tense cup tie at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Dorset. Having taken a 2-0 lead, Trinity School saw the deficit reduced with a late goal from a free-kick, but the Croydon side’s defence held firm to set up a last four appearance.

ESFA U14 PlayStation Small Schools’ Cup

A stunning comeback in the Boys Under 14 Small Schools’ Cup, saw Moorlands School confirm a place in the final; after coming from 4-1 down at Wrekin College to win the tie late on 5-4. In a pulsating cup tie played in the excellent spirit by both sides, it was the Lancashire side who dug deep, having gone 3 goals behind early in the second half. A quick second just after half time and three more goals ended the hosts’ hopes of a cup final appearance.

ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools’ Cup

Our final game on our recent travels saw a long trip to Plymouth, as Devonport High School for Boys welcomed Hurstmere School from Kent. The visitors scored twice early on to put themselves in command for the opening quarter of the game. Despite being reduced to ten men just before the break, there was no way through for the hosts and Hurstmere doubled their lead with two quick goals midway through the second half.

Congratulations to all teams who have claimed a semi final or final spot in recent weeks, we look forward to capturing more great moments in the weeks ahead.

A big thank you to 353 Photography for writing these reports and capturing so much ESFA Schools’ Cup action this month. If you would like 353 Photography to attend your Schools’ Cup fixture, please contact Jacob.Blades@schoolsfa.com

ESFA National Finals, featured, Uncategorized

ESFA announce venue for National Finals 2023

The ESFA is delighted to announce a return to Stoke City FC for a huge 25 National Finals across Representative, Schools’ Cup and Super League competitions

The ESFA will be hosting an array of National Finals at Stoke City FC, crowning 25 National Champions across Representative, Schools’ Cup and Super League Competitions from U11-U18 age groups. The Events will take place between Sunday 30th April and Saturday 13th May with 4 finals per day at:

  • 11.30am
  • 13.30 pm
  • 15.30pm
  • 17.30pm

Darren Alcock, Director of Operations at the English Schools’ FA said, “We are delighted to be able to host our Under 16-Under 18 Inter-Schools’ Cup, ESFA U18 Super League, and our Inter-Association Finals at such a prestigious venue.  The facilities at Stoke City’s stadium are first class and will help us to offer the participating players the very best experience and reward the teams for their efforts in reaching the national finals. 

We would like to place on record our thanks to Stoke City FC for their kind and generous hospitality in allowing us to use their stadium and facilities.  We are very much looking forward to hosting all the players, staff, officials and communities of the schools and Associations involved.  It promises to be a fantastic couple of weeks, showcasing the very best of schools’ football

Plenty more news will be forthcoming on this huge set of National Finals, including the full fixture list, details on how you can attend, or watch online – but for now, 30th April- 13th May are the dates for the diary.