Blessed Trinity made history on Wednesday as they became the first team from Burnley to win the English Schools’ Cup.
The Year 10 side beat Bristol school Winterbourne International Academy 5-0 to become champions of England.
Following on from their Keighley Cup win at Turf Moor last week, the Under 15s side travelled to Derby County’s Pride Park on the hunt to become history makers.
It was 20 years since a Burnley side reached the final of the competition, and Blessed Trinity aimed to go one better.
The match started off quite scrappy, with both teams showing early nerves. However, Blessed Trinity got the edge after just nine minutes.
Willem Tomlinson received the ball from midfielder Jake Townsend and crossed brilliantly for Lewis Mansell to volley into the back of the net.
The goal seemed to spark Winterbourne into life as they began to pile pressure on, forcing brilliant saves from goalkeeper Kean Craig.
However, the Trinity defence stood firm with full backs Jamie Carswell and Tom Comer staying strong.
Drama struck late in the first half when Winterbourne’s striker charged onto a loose ball. Craig dived to save, resulting in a nasty clash.
After a fantastic performance in front of goal, Craig limped off with a knee injury, the Winterbourne player unscathed.
It is rare that young teams have two good keepers but replacement James Beck proved Blessed Trinity do with a fine save from a Winterbourne free kick just before the break.
Despite trailing 1-0, Winterbourne came out fighting. Solid performances from Adam Stubbs and Joe Cullen in the centre of the field kept the Bristol side at bay, and a scramble in front of goal just after the break was the closest Winterbourne came.
The scare seemed to fire the Burnley boys back to life as five minutes later they were awarded a penalty.
Captain Tomlinson stepped up to the spot and he slotted the ball coolly into the bottom left corner.
The momentum built from there, with Blessed Trinity having a number of chances to increase their lead.
On 65 minutes the chance came and Liam Hall made it 3-0 with a strong drive to send the Trinity supporters wild! More than 250 family, pupils and staff from Blessed Trinity made the long journey and they weren’t disappointed.
Two minutes later, Tomlinson sweeped a shot past the Winterbourne keeper to make it 4-0. It left the Bristol side no hope of a comeback and with Trinity’s confidence sky high they played freely and with ease. Connor Barrow’s speed on the wing kept the Bristol side alert and Jordan Swift made the most of a deadball opportunity five minutes before the end.
Swift launched a bullet of a shot, an unbelievable shot, to make it 5-0 and confirmed the Burnley side as champions.
Blessed Trinity manager, Jimmy MacMahon said: “It’s absolutely amazing what these boys have done, and I’m so proud of them.
“I’ve put in the time but it’s those boys that put in the work, and this wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work, they work their socks off and they more than deserve it.”
“As far as I know, we are the first team ever in Burnley to win a national tournament and its 20 years since a team from the town reached the final. That was our inspiration and I said to the boys before the game, don’t match history, make history and we did that. It is what dreams are made of, it’s fantastic.”
The squad: Kean Craig, Jamie Carswell, Tom Comer,
Joe Cullen, Adam Stubbs, Jordan Swift, Jack Reynolds, Willem Tomlinson (C), Connor Barrow, Lewis Mansell, Jake Townsend, James Beck, Liam Hall, Harry Pate, Brandon Ludlam, Charlie Salisbury.