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Thursday 21st May was the date of the girls football school games qualifying competition, 16 teams from across Hyndburn and Ribble Valley competed to earn their place in the Lancashire School Games 2015 to represent there district. Four groups would play across four pitches with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter final stages.

Group A would be made up of St Bartholomew’s, Sabden, St Mary Magdalene’s and Gisburn this would prove to be the closest group with every team in with a chance of qualifying in the final game however it was St Bartholomew’s who topped the group with 5 points and St Mary Magdalene’s who finished second with 4 points with Gisburn finishing third with 3 points and Sabden fourth with 2 points. Group B would feature teams from Waddington & West Bradford, Benjamin Hargreaves, Edisford and Peel Park. Benjamin Hargreaves finished first winning all three of their games to end the group stage on 9 points, joining them in the quarter finals was Waddington & West Bradford who finished on 6 points, Edisford finished third with 3 points and Peel Park finished fourth with 0 points. Onto Group C and this would feature St Marys Oswaldtwistle, St Marys Langho, Salesbury A and Pendle B. St Marys Oswaldtwistle would fly through the group stages finishing top with 9 points, followed by St Marys Langho in second on 6 points and Pendle B finished third with 3 points and Salesbury A finished fourth with 0 points. Group D would be made up of Salesbury B, Pendle A, Rishton Methodist and Grindleton, finishing top of the group was Pendle A while Rishton Methodist qualified finishing second, Salesbury B where third and Grindleton finished fourth.

The quarter final stages would prove to be very interesting games with all 8 teams looking to make it to the semi final stages however the final 4 were made up of Waddington & West Bradford who beat St Bartholomew’s 2-0, Benjamin Hargreaves who beat St Mary Magdalene 2-0, St Marys Oswaldtwistle who beat Rishton Methodist 5-0 and finally Pendle A who beat St Marys Langho 1-0.

The first semi final would see a replay of the opening game in group B as Benjamin Hargreaves faced Waddington & West Bradford for a place in the final, both teams had improved as the competition went on but it was Benjamin Hargreaves who won a place in the final with a 3-0 victory. The other semi final was a repeat of last year’s final with Pendle A coming up against St Marys Oswaldtwistle just like last year it was the Hyndburn School who beat the school from the Ribble valley to progress to the final with a 4-0 win.

The final would feature two Hyndburn schools and the 3rd/4th place playoff would be made up of two Ribble valley schools and the winners of each game would be the representatives at the Lancashire school games for their districts. In the 3rd/4th place playoff game it was Waddington & West Bradford who narrowly came out on top with a 1-0 win and progress to the finals in Blackpool. Joining them representing Hyndburn would be St Marys Oswaldtwistle who beat Benjamin Hargreaves 3-0 to win the competition for the second year in a row.

Thank you to leaders from Accrington Academy and St Christopher’s who refereed the matches, thank you to Accrington girls and ladies who came down to support the event. Well done to St Marys Oswaldtwistle and Waddington & West Bradford and good luck in the finals.

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