Blessed Trinity are now one match away from achieving something that has never been done before – bringing an English Schools’ Cup to Burnley!
Having already created history by being the first team from the town in 20 years to reach the national final stage, the Under 15s want to go one better and bring the infamous silverware to Blessed Trinity.
Wins against teams from Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, Allerdale, Bury, Rochdale and Knowsley – scoring 38 goals along the way and only conceding 7 – saw them into round nine, the semi-final, where they travelled down to Telford in Shropshire to play the favourites.
Thomas Telford School boast a number of national titles , and also knocked out Cardinal Heenan – the double English champions – in the
The Blessed Trinity nerves could be clearly seen when the whistle was blown, as Thomas
Telford dominated the first five minutes and most of the first half.
Telford had the first of the early chances and only the post, a reaction save by Kean
Craig and a goal-line clearance by Jake Townsend kept the score level. Some great defending by the superb defensive partnership of Jordan Swift and Charlie Salisbury made sure that the Telford attack were kept at bay, but the host created another chance late in the half, and only a fine save again by the on form Craig kept the score level.
A couple of tactical changes at half-time by Blessed Trinity manager James MacMahon saw the introduction of playmaker Jack Reynolds, who instantly changed the game.
The first 2 chances of the half fell to the superb Connor Barrow, who hit the side netting from a tough angle, followed by a long range effort that whistled inches over.
Captain Willem Tomlinson hit the underside of the bar, before Lewis Mansell brought down a Carswell corner and Tomlinson smashed the ball through a crowded box into the bottom left hand corner.
Minutes later a breakaway down the right saw Townsend in acres of space, and a beautifully threaded through ball by Reynolds found Townsend in the box, who fired past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
A number of great saves by the Telford goalkeeper kept the score at 2-0, but a long ball by Telford saw them win a corner, and a scramble in a very crowded area saw Telford poke the ball over the line to half the deficit.
Barrow forcerd another superb save, before a great ball in from the Telford captain saw Trinity unable to clear the ball, and again, without creating a clear cut opportunity, Telford equalised from two yards.
The tie seemed now to only be going one way, but Trinity dug deep, and with five minutes to go, a mazy Tomlinson dribble past five players saw him impeded. Although 35 yards from goal, Tomlinson decided that he could see enough of the net to have a shot – and he hit a screamer to put the locals back in the lead.
And in the last minute, a through ball saw Mansell break free, and he beat two defenders before being clipped as he shaped to shoot.
Tomlinson stepped up and smashed the penalty into the net to seal his hat-trick, and a place in the final.
MacMahon said: “From day one these boys have carried on the great football traditions set in place by St Theodores teams of past, playing with pride and passion.
“Hopefully we will be the first school from the town to win this prestigious trophy and start our own history!”
Head Teacher Mr Varey added: “The day was a fantastic one and the boys have not only done themselves and our college proud, but also the whole town.”
The side now play in the final, against Winterbourne International Academy from Bristol, at Derby County’s Pride Park on May 15th, kick-off 4 p.m., where they hope to have 1,000 supporters from the school cheering them on.
Final Score: Thomas Telford School 2, Blessed Trinity College 4