On Saturday 12th October, Cranleigh Prep entered the IAPS 7 a-side football tournament, held at Dane’s Hill School. We had a tough pool, alongside Brighton College, Windlesham House, Downsend, Hoebridge and Cothill schools, who all had a realistic chance of progressing to the National Finals.

Winning the pool, without conceding a goal, was a fabulous achievement and one that gave the team a lot of confidence moving into the knockout stages. They then played 2-0 wins over Windlesham, Cothill and Hoebridge, and two goalless draws gave us 11 points and a favourable draw in the quarter finals.

This turned out not to be so favourable as Belmont Prep pushed us all the way into extra time and only a late goal from James M advanced us to the semi finals and a guaranteed place in the National finals. An extremely close semi final against Bede’s Prep was decided by penalties, after a last minute Casimir K goal was cancelled out with almost the last kick of the game. In the shootout, James M and Casimir K scored their penalties, whilst Bede’s missed their first and Louis P saved the second.

A final against Aldro, who had also won their pool, was almost certainly the right outcome and it turned out to be a tense affair. A mistimed tackle gave Aldro a penalty, which they converted and, as much as CPS pressed, there did not seem to be a way through. In the very last second of the match, a shot from James M cannoned off the bar and bounced on to the line before it was cleared away.  The final whistle gave Aldro some welcome relief and their celebrations could begin.

Chris Stone, team coach, says ‘The result was a fair one and whilst Cranleigh Prep didn’t perform as well in the final as they had in the previous games, they can be extremely proud of the manner in which they played and conducted themselves throughout. Many congratulations to the whole squad: Bill W, James M (2 goals), Jamie F (2 goals), Toby R, Evan G, Max F, William R, Louis P (GK) and Casimir K (3 goals). We’re now looking forward to some tough competition at the national final’.