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SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Oxfordshire and Vale go for glory
10:20am Wednesday 2nd May 2012 in Headlines
It promises to be quite a momentous two days for the county next week with two representative sides going for national glory.
Oxfordshire take on Dur-ham in the ESFA Under 16 Inter County Trophy final at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Tuesday (1pm).
And then just over 24 hours later, Vale of White Horse face Newcastle upon Tyne in the ESFA Under 15 Trophy final at Hull City’s KC Stadium on Wednesday (1.30pm).
Des Williams, who manages the Oxon and Vale sides, said: “It will be a great day out on both days and a great experience for the lads. As far as I am concerned, it is all about going there and enjoying it.
“If we can get a result then that’s great, and we will obviously be going to try and win.”
It’s the second successive season, the county have provided two national finalists.
Twelve months ago, Mid Oxon were pipped 2-1 after extra time by Dacorum in the ESFA Under 15 Trophy final at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium, while Oxon lost 4-3 on penalties to Surrey in the ESFA Under 14 Inter County Trophy at Brentford following a 2-2 extra-time draw.
And Williams, who is also the county chairman, added: “I am very proud. With Mid Oxon and the county under 14 side last year, and two more this year it’s a terrific achievement. I think it has really put Oxfordshire schools’ football on the map.”
Whatever the results, Williams has a big day to look forward to on Tuesday, May 22 after being invited to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for his services to Oxfordshire sport, and football in particular, stretching over more than 40 years.
VALE of White Horse Under 14s missed out on lifting the Vale Cup, with Cheltenham taking the trophy on goal difference after a last-minute strike gave them a 1-0 win over Mid Oxon at Tewkesbury School.
CHRIS Hewitt was St Birinus, Didcot’s hero with a last-minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Fitzharrys, Abingdon, in the Vale of White Horse Under 16 Cup final at Letcombe FC.
Nick Crook had given Faringdon a half-time lead, before Adam Wheat equalised ten minutes from time.
ROUTES TO THE FINAL
ESFA UNDER 16 INTER COUNTY TROPHY
1st round: Bedfordshire 0, Oxfordshire 4; bye – Durham.
2nd round: Oxfordshire 5, Somerset 0; Cumbrian 0, Durham 2.
3rd round: Oxfordshire 4, Surrey 0; Durham 2, Greater Manchester 2 (aet, Durham won 4-3 on pens).
Quarter-finals: Devon 2, Oxfordshire 3; Humberside 2, Durham 5.
Semi-finals: Oxfordshire 4, Kent 1; Cheshire 4, Durham 6 (aet).
ESFA UNDER 15 INTER ASSOCIATION TROPHY
1st round: byes – Vale of White Horse, Newcastle upon Tyne.
2nd round: Vale of White Horse 6, Dacorum 0; Newcastle upon Tyne w/o East Durham.
3rd round: Vale of White Horse 4, Swindon 2; Newcastle upon Tyne 2, Hartlepool 1.
4th round: Vale of White Horse 4, Hereford & District 1; Carlisle 0, Newcastle upon Tyne 1.
5th round: Vale of White Horse 1, Cambridge & District 1 (aet, Vale won 3-2 on pens); Bishop Auckland 0, Newcastle upon Tyne 2.
Quarter-finals: Swansea 1, Vale of White Horse 1 (aet, Vale won 4-2 on pens); Newcastle upon Tyne 1, York & District 1 (aet, Newcastle won 5-3 on pens).
Semi-finals: Bromley 1, Vale of White Horse 0 (Vale awarded tie due to ineligible Bromley player); Newcastle upon Tyne 0, Warrington 0 (aet, Newcastle won 4-2 on pens).
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