The last game of the football season provided a magnificent opportunity for Park’s Year 7s to bring home the North Devon Schools Football trophy.
Archie Fennell’s side performed consistently well throughout the campaign and earnt the right to test themselves against the best. They faced an away fixture against Braunton Academy in the final.
On route to the final, Park secured wins against Great Torrington School, Bideford College, Chumleigh Community School and Ilfracombe Academy: an unbelievable achievement for a new team. The players have worked tirelessly in PE lessons, school training and outside of school to improve themselves as players. This has been evident in the results leading up to the final – 26 goals scored and only 2 conceded in their first season as a squad.
Park started the game with the same players that won in the semi-final. The players were quietly confident but knew they had to work hard to take anything away from the game. Max Smith and Finn Galliford led the charge from kick off, applying pressure on Braunton’s strong central midfield area. Both teams battled fiercely, possession of the football was evenly split and there were very few chances created.
Towards halftime Jordan Davis found himself in pockets of space on the left side of the pitch and produced some wonderful crosses which Clayton Collins and Will Jewell couldn’t quite get a touch on. Right before halftime, the deadlock was broken as Braunton’s number 11 scored a sensational half volley which caught Jayden Lovelock off-guard.
In the second half Park struggled to retrieve the ball, frantic efforts to attack quickly broke down too often and changes had to be made. Louie Harley for a second game running had a massive impact off the bench and a late comeback effort looked likely. Shots on target from Connor Ballard and Jordan Davis weren’t quite accurate enough to trouble the Braunton keeper but stoked a burst of energy from all supporting Park.
Against the run of play Braunton won a free kick on the half way line, wide right on the pitch. The deep free kick was directed straight at Jayden who saw it late and the ball ended up in the goal. The Park team’s heads didn’t drop and they threw everything at the Braunton defence for a last-gasp effort for a goal. Shortly after Braunton got a third goal, tired Park legs failed to track Braunton’s number 10 who neatly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
An unfortunate end to a very successful campaign for the Year 7s. They conducted themselves brilliantly throughout.
Man of the Match: Kayd Kennedy
Full Time: Braunton 3 – 0 Park