On the 17th of January, Football in the Community’s annual John Radford trophy began at the RH Academy, with 5 schools competing with the chance to progress to the finals on the 31st January. The schools competing were Peafield Lane, Parkgate Academy, Holly Primary School, Lakeview and Croft Primary School. Competing in a round-robin format, 5 schools competed in a league table with the top two advancing to the finals, with the other set of games on the 24th January, again at the RH Academy.
The opening contest saw Peafield Lane taking the bye, Croft defeating Lakeview by two goals to nil and a high scoring contest which saw Holly beat Parkgate 6-1. After two more rounds, Holly found themselves top of the league table with 6 points and Peafield Lane on 4 points, getting themselves on the board with a huge win against Parkgate, 7-0. After 5 rounds of brilliant football, Peafield Lane ended up as the eventual winners, topping the table with 10 points. After a good start, Holly were unable to get another win, meaning Croft pinched the last spot finishing second, with the final game between the two finishing 1-1. Croft finished with 8 points with Holly finishing on 7 points.
The second round of fixtures on the 24th January had 6 teams competing in the qualifying round. Once again schools competed in a round-robin format. The following schools involved were Mapplewells, Berry Hill, Abbey, Blidworth Oaks, Heathlands and Northfield. The two teams with the most points in the league table will progress to face Croft and Peafield Lane on the 31st January, once again at the RH Academy.
There was a highly competitive spirit amongst the schools which saw some fantastic high scoring games. The initial round saw 10 goals scored across 3 games, with the biggest victory coming from Abbey who defeated Northfield with a score of six to nil. As the tournament progressed, it was clear to see that Heathlands, Berry Hill and Abbey would be competing for the top 2 spots. In the final set of fixtures, Heathlands needed to beat rivals Berry Hill for a chance of finishing in the top 2, with Abbey defeating Mapplewells 6-1, securing their place with a superior goal difference. In the end, the victory for Heathlands was not enough, as all 3 teams finished with 12 points, but both Berry Hill and Abbey go through with goal differences of +12 and +15 respectively.
Community Manager Gary Shaw was delighted with the turnout of both rounds of the cup. “It was a shame we never got to host this competition last year due to the pandemic, so it is fantastic to see the schools want to get involved once again.” He added “There was a real excitement amongst all the players involved, you can tell they love competing! We’re looking forward to seeing who can step up and take the trophy.”