On Thursday 15 January, 28 teams competed in the London North finals. There were 4 Leagues of 7 teams with the winners and second place qualifying for a place in the quarter-finals.
St James Junior 2 Gateway 0
Grove Independent 1 Gateway 2 (Jack We, Joe N)
Southbank Int A 0 Gateway 4 (Frank M2, Joe N, Jack We)
Swamingnarayan B 0 Gateway 7 (Frankie M3, Jack We, Zach R, Sam A)
Maple Walk 0, Gateway 3 (Sam A2, Joe N)
King Alfred A 1 Gateway 1 (Frankie M)
We have had some FINE performances from B teams, in this competition, over the years, but this squad played extremely well, beating several A teams along the way and scoring 17 goals in 6 games. Last year Alfred C kept goal and this year Hector C took over this responsibility. He made some excellent saves. Zach R and Alex P (Y5) did their utmost in defence helping to keep 3 clean sheets. The team narrowly missed qualifying for the quarter-finals, by one point, which was frustrating as they‘d had several good chances to win their final match against King Alfred A. The boys can be proud of their performance and behaviour; they were a credit to the school.
Squad: Hector C, Alex P, Frankie M , J Nicholson, Jack We , Zach R, Sam A
Southbank Int B 0 Gateway 4 (Will N 2, James M)
Normanhurst A 0 Gateway 5 (Will N 3, James M, Harry O’C-P)
Swamingnarayan A 0 Gateway 2 (James M 2)
St Teresa’s 1 Gateway 1 (James M)
Gower 0 Gateway 7 (Will N 4, Harry O’ C-P, Cormac N
Trevor Robert B 0 Gateway 6 (Will N4, Harry, Dylan B)
The A Team boys were quickly into their stride, playing some slick passing football and scoring some fabulous goals. Will N was on top form, scoring 13 goals in 6 matches; even more impressive when one considers that he spent long spells, resting, on the subs’ bench. The boys were impressive in all their matches but played their best in a cracking match against local rivals St Teresa’s. St Teresa’s played some excellent football and scored after a few minutes. Gateway eventually struck back and had the better chances in a frenetic finale. The team did particularly well as they had to play four of their fixtures, back to back, without any rest.
Loyola 4 Gateway 0
Gateway met Loyola in the quarter-finals and the boys soon found themselves chasing shadows and the ball. Loyola passed the ball quickly and accurately around the pitch, drawing Gateway out of position and creating goal scoring opportunities with precise penetrating passes. Gateway did not have time to gather their composure before Loyola scored from another clinical move. If the first goal rocked Gateway, the 2nd was heart-wrenching. Gateway had to chase the game and did create chances but here too Loyola showed their class blocking everything Gateway could fire at them. As Gateway pushed players forward they fell victim to the counter attack and Loyola took further opportunities to score. It was a disappointing end to the day, as a win in this round would have taken the team through to the National finals in March. The boys took solace from their overall performance and it was great to see them congratulating Loyola and wishing them well after this ‘bruising’ encounter. Loyola went on to win in the final against Gatehouse.
Freddie B, Cormac N (Y5), Jack Wa (Y5) Dylan B, Harry O’ C-P, James M, Will N.