On a bright Thursday afternoon, Park Grove’s football season got up and running in the CADE Tournament held at Clifton Green Primary School. This competition pitted Park Grove against Clifton with Rawcliffe, Carr Juniors, Poppleton Road and of course Clifton Green. In front of a packed crowd, Park Grove fielded five debutants in this competition. Park Grove’s opening fixture was against Clifton with Rawcliffe. The match started off slowly with both defences dominating the first half possession, with George Phillips and Ben Brannigan looking very solid and composed at the back for Park Grove. Chances were few and far between, despite an improved attacking showing from Park Grove, allowing Lucas Zareba-Wynne a comfortable first clean sheet of the season.
The next match was against Carr Junior School. Like the first match, this encounter was keenly contested, with the trickery and pace of Reuben Pugh proving a real handful for the Carr Junior defence in particular. Despite Park Grove enjoying most of the possession, they spurned a couple of very presentable chances late in the match, which ensured the match ended 0-0 once again.
The penultimate match was against a well organised Poppleton Road side. This was a thrilling game from start to finish and a strong early showing from Park Grove finally resulted in a goal. Excellent interplay from Reuben Pugh and Kian Kennedy resulted in a volley being blocked before the ball fell invitingly in the box for Henry Tegetmeier, on his debut for Park Grove, to rifle in sweetly into the left hand corner of the net. Out of nowhere, Poppleton Road equalised against the run of play to level the match. Despite further opportunities to win the game including a penalty, after a good spot by referee Mr Gardiner, no further goals were forthcoming in spite of the great fight and determination from the boys in blue to score that winning goal. Alas another draw was accumulated but with a much improved performance.
With top spot potentially at stake, Park Grove took to the field for the final match of the afternoon against hosts Clifton Green full of confidence. Beautiful interplay between Elliott Jones and Reuben Pugh resulted in another fine finish from Henry Tegetmeier, who peeled away effectively from his marker at the back post. From this moment onwards, Park Grove took control with Henry Tegetmeier again finishing off a sweeping counterattack after excellent work from Reuben Pugh with the aid of a slight deflection. Two nil to Park Grove. There was even time for Park Grove to net a third with a little bit of help from the opposition defence. At the end of the tournament, Park Grove finished in second place narrowly behind the winning school, Poppleton Road.
Star players were Henry Tegetmeier, whose lively runs and vital goals galvanized many of Park Grove’s excellent attacks. Reuben Pugh, captain for the day, led by example and his never-say-die attitude rubbed off on the whole team. Ben Brannigan was rock solid at the back and was very composed in all of the matches.
A huge well done to all the children who represented our school and the excellent parental support we had throughout the afternoon!