Skipping straight to the end - we lost the final on penalties. It was a heartbreaking finish to what had been an absolutely fantastic occasion.
I'm writing this with a real mix of emotions. Obviously, I'm as gutted as all the boys who took part, and all the parents and teachers who came along to support. But I'm mainly filled with pride at their efforts and how they conducted themselves. I also recognise what a tremendous match it was and that was also down to the players and supporters of Pirton Hill. So well done everyone!
Not that I'm still bitter about last year's final, but this match was played in the right spirit from the off - two quality sets of players who wanted to play the right way. And from a neutral perspective, it was a great contest. The first half ebbed and flowed with both teams having chances, but defending very solidly. There was nothing clear-cut but it was obvious that there was a great deal of skill, power, pace and confidence on show.
It was looking like our run of 0-0 at half time and 1-0 at the end was still a possibility. That was until early in the second half when Pirton Hill went into the lead. Our heads may have dropped momentarily, but we soon realised that we had plenty of time left to rectify the situation.
The rest of the half was very exciting/ nerve-wracking depending on your general disposition. We put the pressure on and created a few good chances. All the while we were troubled with the pace of Pirton Hill's attackers. They could have scored more; we could have equalised. We hit the post in one attack and the bar in another. It was looking like it wasn't going to be our day...
That was until the very final minute when we earned ourselves a corner. The ball did a little bit of pinball in the area and it fell nicely to Thomas, who looped it over their keeper. The wild celebrations were very much deserved, as was the goal.
And then it was five minutes each way of extra time, which I seem to recall us defending for most of it.
Then...penalties. I won't go into the details, suffice to say that they scored more than we did. And that was that.
Hopefully we can look back on the match with fond memories of a game well-played. (We just won't dwell on the final chapter of it.)