A combination of Prep III and IV joined forces to represent Bridgewater in the second MCFC football tournament on Friday. With 16 teams present the atmosphere around the impressive Academy facility was one of awe and excitement.
Bridgewater had Bolton School, Altrincham Prep and Rydal Prep to negotiate if they were to progress into the knock out stage of the event. In the game against Bolton School, it was great to see former Bridgewater pupil Ben playing once more and the team had to work hard to keep him out. Indeed, Kian made three great saves to keep Bridgewater in the game. Sam had one chance to steal the game near the end, but Bridgewater took away a point in a battling 0-0 draw.
In game two, Bridgewater faced up to Rydal Prep and started superbly. A combination of wall passing between Anton and Alex from the kick off, ended with Alex slotting home from close range. It was 2-0 moments later, with Frankie volleying home an Alex corner. Bridgewater continued to dominate the game with Frankie flying down the wing and Tom confident at the back. Rydal scored late on following a mix up with San and Toby, but Bridgewater held on for a 2-1 win.
In the final game of the group, Altrincham Prep provided the opposition. Altrincham looked very well organised and had a good energy about them. The opposition dominated possession and only some great defending from Tom and goalkeeping from Kian kept out the Altrincham attack. Eventually, despite scrambled efforts to clear the ball, Bridgewater went a goal down. However, immediately from the kick off, Alex ran through the heart of the opposition defence to equalise. With the game finishing at 1-1, there was a three-way tie at the top of the group as three teams had finished unbeaten. Unfortunately, on goal difference, Bridgewater were deemed to have finished in third spot and went through to the quarterfinals of the plate competition.
In the quarterfinals, Bridgewater were up against Greenbank Prep… who had to go home! This put Bridgewater into the next round of the plate competition but only after a 9 a side friendly game against King’s, Macclesfield. Alex opened the scoring once more and Bridgewater dominated possession but could not add to the score line. Nevertheless, it was another win for the excited youngsters, who now faced off against Rydal Prep for a place in the final. Sam, Frankie and Alex all had great chances to win the game, before Rydal hit the post late on. With the game finishing 0-0 it went to a penalty shoot-out. Alex, Anton and Kian all scored and with Rydal missing their last penalty, Bridgewater reached the final!
Despite beating King’s, Macclesfield earlier in a 9-a-side friendly, this was back to 6-a-side and a totally different contest. A thundering tackle from Tom sent Alex clear and he made no mistake to put the team 1-0 ahead. Fine work from Frankie sent Anton through to make it 2-0 moments later. A brave save from Kian kept Bridgewater two up before Alex again went close at the other end.
In the end, Bridgewater proved just too strong and held onto take the honours! Well done to all once again and we can look forward to seeing how Prep I and II do next Friday at the same event.