The switch to a mid- week as opposed to a weekend festival ensured a bumper turn out at the 7-a-side AJIS U9 Football Festival at Cheadle Hulme Grammar School last week.
Bridgewater were placed in group B and although no titles were up for grabs, they were eager to show they could win the group regardless. First up were Merchant Taylor’s B and even though games were only eight minutes long, Bridgewater quickly amassed over 15 shots on the opposition goal. Alfie continues to show his long range striking skills and also demonstrated an awareness of when to play team mates through on goal. Alfie scored a hattrick with Joel adding another in an impressive 4-0 opening win.
With a short break taken, Bridgewater were soon back in action against Westholme. The goals continued to flow in this game too, with the team raining shots down on the Westholme back line. Luca B opened his account, as did Tommy Jack, whilst Alfie and Joel added to their tally from the first game. A comfortable 4-0 win again guaranteed that all teams knew they had to take Bridgewater seriously.
In the third game, Bridgewater surprisingly struggled to break down the bottom of the league Cransley Prep. Luca C in goal still did not not have to make a save and the combination of Molly, Jackson and Toby were rarely troubled at the back. Bridgewater dominated possession, but it was late goals from Tommy Jack and Josh that eventually sealed a 2-0 win. In the fourth game, a strong Oldham Hulme were next up and the team had to work much harder for this one. Once again, Bridgewater controlled the game and had a series of chances to win it. In the end, it was a superb strike from Luca B that was enough to give a 1-0 win and maintain the 100% winning streak in the tournament.
With matches now moving off the grass and onto the 4G, Bridgewater has two games left to see if they could top the group. First up was Abbey Gate and the team found the adjustment from grass quite tricky at first. Fortunately, another Alfie drive and a tap in for Tommy Jack sealed a 2-0 win in the end. In the final game, the hosts Cheadle Hulme Grammar provided the opposition and both teams looked a little tired as the game kicked off. Luca C was once more rarely troubled in goal, with Molly and Jackson increasingly comfortable in defence. Bridgewater could have settled for a draw to top the group, but nobody considered this as a serious option. With time running out, it took a late goal from Alfie and a second from Josh to give Bridgewater an impressive six wins out of six.
The U9 team can now look forward to a day trip to Queen Ethelburga College, York to compete in the AJIS 6-a-side tournament on Monday 25th March. The team has also qualified for the 7-a-side ISA Cup Finals later in the term and can be very proud of their achievements already this year.