The Inaugural ‘Inclusive Football Cup’ crowned its first ever winner yesterday, as Mansfield Town Football in the Community hosted the disability focussed competition at the RH Academy.
Focussing on giving youngsters lots of game time in a competitive environment, pupils from the Beech Academy took on their counterparts from Derrymount in a series of 10 minute matches, to maximise focus, energy and competitiveness, with a penalty shootout separating the sides – should both teams be level on points at the conclusion of the five matches.
Disability Officer Jordan Ferrer said “Both sets of students gave a very good account of themselves on a really hot morning at the RH Academy and were worthy finalists, earning their place following fixtures played earlier this season.
“Sometimes adapting to new environments can be tough for youngsters but having something to play for really eliminated that element and allowed some really good football to be played, I was delighted to see the skills and techniques we’ve been working on within the schools coming to light.
“Hosting tournaments such as this really gets the kids engaged with sport and allows them to express themselves – I’m already looking forward to next years competition.”
Derrymount School were the eventual winners with seven points, a 2-1 victory in the morning’s second game enough to put distance between themselves and Beech Academy, who stubbornly held Derrymount to a 1-1 draw in the four other fixtures.
The pupils were boosted by support from Stags’ youngsters Sam Wilson and Alistair Smith who then presented Derrymount with their winners medals and the trophy.