Top football clubs are always complaining about playing more than one game in a short space of time; but at Richard Challoner School, there is no sign of any turbulence. Because last week, the Under 15s (Year 10) football team flew through two games in two days, but what is even harder to believe is the fact that these were not just two football games; these were two cup finals.

On Monday 23rd April, the Richard Challoner U15s team travelled to Hollyfield School to play Coombe Boys in the District Cup Final. The two schools, which are only located just over one mile apart, had previously met on countless occasions and the game was a highly anticipated encounter. Even more so, these two teams had proved to be very efficient in this competition, with this being the third time that the two teams have met in the final. Furthermore, Coombe and Richard Challoner have now met each other in all four seasons of participation, meeting in Year 7 and 9 for the final where Coombe defeated Richard Challoner on both occasions, and in Year 8 when Coombe overcame Richard Challoner in a knockout round. However this was a new Challoner side, as last year they were crowned national champions after a dramatic victory at Manchester City’s stadium, the City of Manchester Stadium (as of then renamed as the Etihad Stadium). The stage was set; this was surely going to be a fierce and close encounter. In actual fact however, the game was anything but close as Richard Challoner never looked back after their take off. Richard Challoner winger, Marco Difato (pictured above, left front row) opened the scoring, with Jose Capita (pictured above, middle front row) continuing the scoring opening up a two-goal lead. Captain Ryan Sweeney (pictured above, forth from left, back row) then scored a stunner to put clear daylight between the two sides as the first half drew to a close. Striker Jack Watret (pictured above, fifth from left, back row) then scored a double after half-time, to all but confirm victory for the national champions, leaving the score at 5-0. Dan Mitchell (pictured above, second from left, front row) then slotted away the sixth goal of the afternoon and Richard Cassells converted a late penalty to round off the scoring at an outstanding 7-0. Richard Challoner had finally won the District Cup and it was worth the wait.

There was no time for celebrating, however, as the team would have to walk out onto that green surface once more the next day and play on an ever bigger stage as they faced Whitgift School in the County Cup Final. Challoner’s route to the final was near to perfect, scoring sixteen goals and only conceding one goal in four games, including a 5-0 and a 6-0 victory in the 2nd round and 4th round, respectively. But they faced a stern test in the form of Whitgift School, an independent school who had defeated Coombe Boys in the semi-final to book their place in the final. The two schools had met last year in the National Cup where Challoner defeated Whitgift as they progressed to win the tournament. The game kicked off at 5:30 at LSE Fulham FC Training Ground, and this time the game was an incredibly close encounter. The full-time score was 1-1 and extra-time beckoned. Over the past two days the Challoner players had shed sweat, blood and tears, but there was still one closing line on their script. Could they find that final breath? The answer was yes; yes they could. Chelsea youngster and the second goal-scorer of the District Cup Final the day before, Jose Capita scored in extra-time to finish off the job as Richard Challoner were crowned the County Cup Champions for the fourth consecutive year. A remarkable statistic, seeing as, because they are in Year 10, they have never lost a County Cup game ever.

There was no sign of any turbulence. After all, why should there be? Two cup finals in two days. They had the belief. They pulled through.