On a bright and sunny May evening in Southampton, the Harrow Way Community School Year 8 football team were crowned Hampshire champions after a thrilling 1-0 win over Hounsdown School. In what was an exact rematch of last year’s final, the Harrow Way boys played their hearts out to lift the county trophy.
The first half was extremely close with nothing to separate the two teams. By half time, the deadlock had yet to be broken and the score remained 0-0. Having had the lion’s share of possession for much of the first half, Harrow Way came out at half time intent on securing the ball. With some fabulous one and two-touch passing in and around their opponents’ box, a shot came out of absolutely nowhere from Callum Cousins. Nobody expected it, least of all the Hounsdown keeper and all he and everyone else could do was watch the ball soar straight in to the top of the goal!
Finally a decisive blow the game needed to come alive. From here on in, both teams had their chances to score with players at both ends hitting the woodwork a number of times. Tommy Willard came the closest to extending the lead by beating the goalkeeper only for the ball to be cleared off the line and scrambled away in a desperate piece of Hounsdown defending.
At the other end of the pitch, a goal nearly came to equalise the score only to be denied by Harrow Way goalkeeper Jake McGowan with an inspired and instinctive dive to his right to keep the ball out of the net. In a frantic and nail-biting attempt to retain their 1-0 lead, Harrow Way held on right until the final whistle and when it eventually did come, the Harrow Way boys must have felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from their shoulders. Harrow Way School from Andover are County Champions!
Tommy Willard (C), Sam Bickerton, Ross Belbin, Jake McGowan (GK), Rhys Sullivan, Sam Clash, Callum Cousins, Conor Cousins, Jack Ardron, Owen Mussell, Matt Cooper, Nathan Hartfield, Adam Hampton, Oli Straffon, Sam Griggs, Tyler Barrow and Jake Shinton.
For more information on Harrow Way Community School, please call 01264 364533 or visit www.harroway.hants.sch.uk. Visits to the school by appointment are always welcome.