By Joe Perkins

Black'n'whites atone for last year's cup heartbreak; Bernie's falter at final hurdle.

Wednesday afternoon at Power League, Yardley, saw the curtain come down on another fantastic ESPSFA season with SS Peter & Paul taking the ESPSFA Cup back to Erdington – a year on after losing out in the final to SS Mary & John on penalties - and they did so using just six players for the entire tournament.
Fourteen teams from ten schools were placed in three groups, one of five and two of four with eight teams qualifying for the quarter finals.
In group A, Timberley plundered 33 goals in their four games to take first place. SS Peter & Paul suffered a 6-3 reverse to the Timbers and had to settle for second spot. Qualifying third, were Alston, whose only defeats were to Timberley and SSPP.
Audley’s ‘C’ team won all three games to secure top billing in group B, but Rosary’s Oranges and Yardley’s Youths, also qualified; Rosary’s better goal difference saw them nick the runners-up position.
Group C, league champions Abbey, emulated Audley C by winning all of their allotted games and were joined in the quarter-finals by St Bernadette’s.
Twenty-six goals were scored in the quarter finals with Abbey impressing in their 8-3 victory over Alston. SSPP and St. Bernadette’s both had 4-2 wins over Audley ‘C’ and Rosary Orange, while Timberley booked their place in the last four courtesy of a 3-0 win against the Youths.
Goals continued to flow in the semi-finals. SSPP faced Timberley once more, and the black’n’whites gained revenge for their group defeat as they won a ding-dong battle, 5-3. On the adjacent pitch, St. Bernadette’s were continuing their great form as they swept passed Abbey, 3-1.
The final then, pitched SS Peter & Paul with St Bernadette’s. P&P were quick out of the blocks and raced into a swift 2-0 lead from which Bernie’s tiring lads failed to recover. Last year’s runners-up netted a third midway through the game and comfortably saw it through to its conclusion.

Where next?

HAPPY NEW SEASON! Fixtures published; Champs kick-off at Yardley.
SUPREME YOUTHS RETAIN Y5 CROWN! Unbeaten Yardley clinch consecutive Y5 title; valiant Short Heath lose out in final; Rosary and Highfield fall short in dramatic semi-finals.

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