Royal Grammar School


Footballers retain the cup

Footballers retain the cup


Our football first team finished the term (and their season) with a busy schedule after reaching two cup finals. The City Cup final was the first, followed by the Tyneside Senior Schools' (TSS) Cup final just 24 hours later.

Here's how they got on:

We took on Heaton Manor in the City Cup final, a competition we've won the past two years. Everything comes in threes they say; would it be our third title? 

Despite the sun shining, there was still a bit of water on the pitch which contributed to a first half in which neither side could play any real flowing football.

Our opponents, Heaton Manor, were made of tough stuff and we struggled to get to grips with their style of play. As the game advanced, we got more into it and started to pose a few questions to the opposition.

Highlight of an otherwise frustrating first half was a stunning last ditch tackle by Atul Ramesh (Upper Sixth) which ensured the score stayed 0-0 at the half.

We started the second half by continuing to wear the opposition down and despite Ashraf Alam (Upper Sixth) looking dangerous down the right, Nick Wharton (Upper Sixth) and Jamie Dudley (Upper Sixth) getting a hold on the midfield, a goal was to prove elusive and extra time loomed.

On to two 10 minute periods of extra time and a time for the squad to dig deep and draw on the spirit they have displayed consistently all season. Both sides created slim chances, and it looked to be heading to a penalty shootout.

With barely a minute left on the clock, Tommy Rispin (Upper Sixth) won RGS a corner which was delivered to the near post area where a goal-mouth scramble ensued with Rispin backheeling the ball, rebounding off players from both teams and culminated in the ball resting in the back of the net. Official goal scorer? Who knows! It was given to Ashraf Alam, but plenty of others claimed it later!

Mass celebrations followed (on the pitch and the sidelines!), and with just enough time to resume the game before the referee blew the final whistle, we were the winners!

Heaton Manor must be congratulated on their terrific performance and we wish them well in the County Cup.

What a performance from our squad. Every single member deserves praise for their ability, skill and spirit. Man of the Match went to Atul Ramesh who was commanding on the floor and in the air. Gaffer's player went to Jamie Dudley who bossed his defensive midfield role. 

On to our second cup final in 48 hours!

Our opponents for the Tyneside Senior Schools' Cup were Park View School from Chester-le-Street. Unfortunately a waterlogged pitch at John Spence High School saw the game moved to RGS, which we were grateful for (rather than a postponement). 

Park View have a very impressive football programme with a lot of time, effort and resources available for their players.

On to the game, and RGS were first out the blocks, being the better side for much of the first 20 minutes. Park View scored first and their confidence grew as they began to take the upper hand.

Half time arrived and we still believed we could get something from the game, it was a case of keeping the work rate up and pressing Park View as much as possible. Despite Park View's pressure building and tiredness creeping in (on our part), our never-say-die ethos came to the fore and we scored a delightful goal thanks to Joey Dalton (Lower Sixth).

Sadly five minutes later Park View hit a bit of a worldy and Daksh Sharma (Upper Sixth) could do nothing to keep it out of the net. 

Our heads did not drop and we continued to quell the opposition, but they hit a third.

Was the game over? Not in the slightest! We pressed hard which allowed Tosan Evbuomwan (Lower Sixth) scrambled the ball over the line. 

3-2 with two minutes to play would prove tricky and Park View came away worthy winners.

The squad can hold their heads high knowing they gave Park View a good run for their money.

Man of the Match went to Year 11 student Lewis Lant, who had a solid outing at full back and will be an exciting prospect over the next few seasons. Gaffer's player went to Tommy Rispin who despite not getting on the scoresheet, his work up front was superb and he was rightly rewarded.

What a season! Two cup finals, second in the league and City Cup Champions. This a superb bunch of players who have shown great togetherness and comradeship this season.