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Girls from Bournes Green in Southend and boys from Shenfield St Mary's were the winners of the Essex Under-11 7v7 County Football Finals at the Arsenal Dome recently, meaning they now progress to regional qualifiers at the London Marathon Playing Fields in Greenwich on Saturday 23rd March.
Both now represent their county after winning local stages in November then progressing from overall finals involving eight schools on Tuesday 5th and Friday 8th February. Of those eight, four emerged from the London Boroughs regional event held at the London Marathon Playing Fields in Fairlop. Outer Essex had been split between two venues at Chigwell School and Shrub End in Colchester to decide their four representatives.
In the girls' event on the Tuesday, Bournes Green finished top of their group table with seven points, conceding just one goal in their three games as they edged in front of runners-up Moulsham Junior from Chelmsford by one point. Newham's Godwin Primary finished third while St Joseph's Catholic Primary from Havering, who'd made the County Finals for the second consecutive year, finished in fourth position.
The boys' trophy, named in honour of the late Essex County Schools FA volunteer Malcolm Moffatt, was collected by Shenfield St Mary's courtesy of their superior goal difference just ahead of runners-up Bournes Green, who they'd beaten 2-0. Churchfields Junior from Redbridge, who had finished second for the past two years, were joint third this time alongside St Joseph's Catholic Primary.
Mike Spinks, Chairman of the Essex County Schools FA, was the special guest who presented the trophies and mementoes to the players at the end of the tournaments alongside Tesco 'Community Champion' Audrey Reid Humes, from their Leytonstone store, who provided fruit platters for each competing school.
Lana Gillard, Essex County FA Football Development Officer, expressed gratitude to Arsenal FC for the use of their facilities, and said: "I'd also like to thank all the participating schools and organisers for making this a special day. That includes our Sports Therapist, Sheila Macaulay, who gave up her time to assist us at the Dome."
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