After a two-year hiatus, the Rotherham Schools Football Association Cup Finals returned on Saturday 2nd April with six finals taking place at Wickersley after the Y11 Cup Final midweek at Parkgate FC. Conditions, after a cold week, were set fair for an exciting morning of football.
After a tight and reasonably quiet first half, the Y9 final turned into something from a movie script with an incredible ending leading to a penalty shoot-out. The game was 0-0 at half-time but after the break the game exploded into life with six goals (three in injury time), two hat-tricks and a sending off. Rawmarsh took the lead through Jack Woodcock, with Ryan Gambles equalising five minutes later only for Woodcock to score again shortly after to restore Rawmarsh’s lead. Wickersley’s Robson Woodcock was then sent off on the hour mark, swaying the game towards Rawmarsh with the clock ticking down. On 70 minutes Ryan Gambles popped up to equalise which triggering wild celebrations. From the kick-off an extraordinary goal was scored direct from the centre kick by Jack Woodcock once again leading to wild celebrations and putting Rawmarsh back on top with seconds remaining. Somehow, the 10 men of Wickersley once again equalised deep into injury time with Ryan Gables securing the second hat-trick of the tie with the final kick of the game. The game went to penalties and with three misses each, it went to sudden death with Wickersley eventually winning the shoot-out 4 – 3.
The Y8 final was the second tie to go to penalties, but this time Wickersley came out on the wrong side of the shoot-out with Wath running out winners. Wickersley held a 2-0 lead in the game with goals through Zack Lyne and Henry Sedgwick although Wath never looked out of the game and clicked into gear in the final quarter, scoring two excellent goals through Jacob Woodward and Max Sojka. Both teams missed penalties during the game, but Wath had the momentum going into the shoot-out and came through to claim the trophy.
Wath also came out on top in the Y10 final with a strong performance against Rawmarsh. Wath applied the early pressure but it was Rawmarsh who took the lead through Harry Emptage. Wath equalised through Ethan Hodkin who then went on to give Wath a 2-1 lead at half-time. Hodkin sealed the game in the second half through a penalty giving Wath their second trophy of the morning.
At Y7 Wickersley were confident going into the tie after their English School’s Cup run took them all the way to the semi-final. Aston were the opponents and they held strong in the first 15 minutes in a competitive start where they also nearly scored following a corner. Wickersley took the lead after 16 minutes through Jake Hall and this then opened the floodgates with goals in the first half following through Ashton Crofts, Bailey Miller and a brace from Oscar Wildman. In the second half Jack Calise rubber stamped the victory with a left foot strike from 25 yards with Wickersley also earning a second trophy.
In the senior games the 1st XI final placed Wath against Maltby, two strong teams running senior scholarship programmes. The rivals fought out a tight game with Maltby the narrow victors 1 – 0 with a goal courtesy of Ben Bradley. The 2nd XI final was a much more one-sided affair with Wath cruising to an 8-0 victory against Thomas Rotherham College 3rd XI, who had previously beaten the TRC 2nd XI to reach the final. The Wath goals were scored by Will Marshall (2), Alex Kent, an OG and a man of the match 4 goal performance from Owen Evans.
A big thank you to all the players, parents and spectators for contributing towards a successful return to the RSFA this year. All 16 secondaries’ and TRC took part in the 7 different cup competitions during the 2021/22 season, which started back in September.
Thank you to Mick Bell and the Rotherham Referees’ Association for providing 18 officials for finals day and 3 officials in Wickersley’s 3 – 1 win over Aston in the standalone Y11 Cup Final which took place at Parkgate FC on Wednesday 30th March.
The WPT Media Team have played a massive part in the RSFA Competitions this year – designing a new logo, creating the professionally looking programmes and capturing the action as photographers on finals day. Thank you to Mr Gunn and his team for their above and beyond professional service.