On Friday 15 March, Mr Protherough and Mr Matthews set off with 11 very excited boys to Clifton College in Bristol for the Independent Schools Football Association’s (ISFA) Regional Qualifier. From this tournament, first and second place would progress to the ISFA National Finals at St George’s Park in May. So the stakes were incredibly high!

There was a sense of trepidation as adverse weather had hindered preparations for the tournament, however, two friendly matches against RGS and Warwick had helped to set the boys’ sights on the trophy.


Group Stage Battles

Initially, BCS were slow out the blocks after a long journey but the pace increased with every passing minute in our first game against Millfield but ultimately an unfortunate mistake at the back cost us the only goal of the game.

The next game against Kitebrook was a nervy affair with both teams having chances and it looked like it would end 0-0. That was until BCS were awarded a last-gasp penalty which Samson slotted with aplomb!

The next game was against King’s St Alban’s which BCS won comfortably which meant BCS would face Bristol Grammar School in their last match of the group stages. Despite a solid performance from BCS, the ball eluded the net on many occasions and it ended 1-1. The boys waiting with baited breath to see if they would make it through to the quarter final. 


Quarter-Final Triumph

Victory became one step closer as it was announced that BCS had secured a Quarter Final space. The first match was against Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Although BCS put on a dominant performance, it finished 0-0 and went to a dreaded penalty shootout. Jasper made a great save and BCS won 2-0 so it was onto the Semi Final!


Semi-Final Derby

The Semi Final was against local football rivals, RGS. In a very tight game where chances were limited, both teams gave it their all and again it finished 0-0! But penalties no longer scared BCS, because we had a Pickford’s understudy in goal, and once again Jasper was the hero of the hour with another amazing save. 

So now the competition had come full circle, BCS were to meet our first competitors, Millfield, again in the final.


Final Showdown

BCS took the lead early on, but Millfield deservedly equalised meaning yet another penalty shoot out. It proved to be one too many penalty shoot outs for BCS and this time we were unfortunately the team who missed which meant BCS took the silver medal.

The boys took this defeat superbly and showed a huge amount of resilience and sportsmanship. Despite losing in the Final, BCS still qualified for the ISFA National Finals on Tuesday 7 May at St George’s Park! They will be looking to exchange their silver for gold at the home of football.

Nine boys from the BCS football team in a group huddle smiling the ISFA Regional Qualifiers