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On a wet and windy Thursday night in Clitheroe 12 schools competed for the title of Ribble valley girl’s football champions 2016 and a chance to represent the Ribble Valley at the Lancashire School Games 2016.

The schools were split into 4 groups of 3 teams with the top 2 teams progressing to the quarter final stage. Group A featured Salesbury A, last year’s Ribble Valley winners Waddington & West Bradford and Whalley, Group B was contested by Salesbury B, St Michael & St Johns and St Leonards Langho. Group C was  made up of Sabden, St Marys Osbaldeston and St Joseph’s Hurst Green and the final group, Group D contained Simonstone, Gisburn and Balderstone.

DSC_0071Group A turned out to be a really close group with the first 2 games ending  0-0 but then Waddington & West Bradford narrowly beat Whalley 1-0 to top the group on 4 points with Salesbury A 2nd on 2 points.  They then played the winner and the runner up from group b respectively,  St Leonards Langho (who won both of their games) topping the group followed by St Michael & St Johns who finished on 3 points. Group C was won by St Marys Osbaldeston who won both of the group games leaving Sabden in 2nd place on 3 points. Group D was a really close group with all the games ending 1-0, Gisburn beat Simonstone 1-0, Balderstone beat Gisburn 1-0 and Simonstone beat Balderstone 1-0 leaving all 3 teams on 3 points and the same amount of goals scored and conceded. Due to time issues it was agreed with the teachers that it would be drawn out of a hat which saw Balderstone and Gisburn progress to the Quarter Final stage.

The quarter final matches were Waddington & West Bradford vs. St Michael & St Johns, St Leonards Langho vs. Salesbury A, St Marys Osbaldeston vs. Gisburn and Balderstone vs. Sabden. If the score at the end of the games was a draw, the teams took part in a penalty shootout of 3 penalties each.  This was required in quarter final 1 between Waddington & West Bradford and St Michael & St Johns after the game ended 0-0 it was Waddington who edged it 1-0 on penalties. Quarter final 2 saw St Leonards Langho beat Salesbury A 2-0 to progress to the semi-final, St Marys Osbaldeston overcame Gisburn 2-0 whilst Balderstone beat Sabden 1-0. The competition was really taking shape with Waddington & West Bradford vs. St Leonards Langho in Semi Final 1 and St Marys Osbaldeston vs. Balderstone in Semi Final 2. Both games proved to be tense and nervous games with lots of skill and determination on show, St Leonards Langho would be in the final after beating Waddington & West Bradford 2-0 while St Marys Osbaldeston narrowly beat Balderstone 1-0.

The 3rd/4th place play off was won by Waddington & West Bradford 1-0 against Balderstone after a fantastic strike flew past the goalkeeper and into the top right corner. In the final St Leonards Langho had most of the ball but could not find a way to score past the Osbaldeston defence, the game ended 0-0 and went to penalties in which St Marys Osbaldeston would win 2-0 to be crowned champions for 2016.     

Well done to all schools who took part and congratulations to St Marys Osbaldeston and good luck in the Lancashire School Games Finals. See you in Blackpool on Tuesday 5th May.

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