As Finals Fortnight progresses, so the older age groups come to the fore in the Boys competitions, with the remaining trophies to be won being at U14, U15, U16 and U18. The fifth matchday of our festival of football at Rectory Park, played on 22nd March 2022, saw the JS Lyle U14 Cup and Blaxland U15 Cup decided.
The JS Lyle Cup again pitted schools from Enfield and Hillingdon against each other; it was the third final this season contested by schools from these boroughs. Enfield Grammar’s U14s were looking to emulate their schoolmates from the year below, who had won the President’s Cup last week. Hillingdon’s Bishop Ramsey were looking to win the Lyle Cup for the first time.
A thrilling Final saw the two sides share six goals, albeit unevenly. Enfield Grammar (top) eventually proved too strong for Bishop Ramsey, edging an outstanding game by a 4-2 margin.
The Blaxland Cup was for many years the only Inter-School Cup competition run by MSFA and celebrates its 90th anniversary next season. Some 58 schools had had their names engraved on the old trophy going into this season’s Final and given that neither of the 2021-22 Finalists had won the trophy before, whichever school won would make themselves the 59th different winner of the Cup.
In some ways, for Nower Hill, simply reaching the Final was a remarkable achievement, given that there isn’t a competition-sized pitch on the school site. However, having scored 15 times in the previous four rounds, the team from Harrow were clearly a force to be reckoned with. Their opponents, Isleworth & Syon, had been drawn ‘away’ in the three rounds leading up to the Final and had needed to win a penalty shoot-out to eliminate Bishop Ramsey at the quarter-final stage; this would prove significant as the afternoon progressed.
The Final was a fantastic advert for schools’ football, featuring two excellent teams who posed a constant threat going forward. There was nothing to seperate the sides over the 80 minutes of end-to-end action, which finished in a 2-2 draw.
So, the 10th County Cup Final of 2021-22 became the first to be decided by a penalty competition. As they had earlier in the competition, Isleworth & Syon (above) held their nerve to ensure the trophy went to Hounslow rather than Harrow.