Historic triumph for VCP

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Playing at the Ricoh Arena – the home of Coventry FC and Premiership rugby club Wasps – VCP were one of just eight schools from a starting-pool of 3,000 to reach the annual finals, and they finished the day as the country’s best thanks to a 1-0 triumph over Manchester-based St Peter’s.

Prep’s latest victory makes it three in a row for Jersey, following St Clement’s triumph in 2016.

‘Officially this is the biggest football tournament in the world in terms of starting teams, and we have been to the national finals four times since 2012,’ said Prep sports teacher Ben Silva. ‘Now we are far and away the best footballing school in Britain, and that’s a good thing to hear.

‘It was lovely to see the boys digging deep when it wasn’t necessarily going their way, and the noticeable difference between our team and others was the work ethic. They were chasing everything down and our tactical awareness gave us a big advantage.’

The Islanders, who won the Jersey, Channel Islands and South West competitions to earn their place in the finals, beat London representatives Cranmer 1-0 in their opening group game, following a wonder goal from Leyton Collier, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham champions West Bridgford. They then beat St Peter’s 1-0 in their final group game, and reached the final thanks to a 3-2 success over Oxfordshire’s best Windmill School.

Conor O’Keeffe bagged the winning goal in the showdown against St Peter’s. Goalkeeper Monty Cudlipp was forced to make a few fine saves to keep the scoreline at 1-0, and earn his side the silverware once again.

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