The eagerly awaited annual football competition between Rokeby and Cranmore took place on Saturday 10th November. Large numbers of Rokeby boys, parents and staff made their way down the A3 to East Horsley as it was Cranmore’s turn to host the event. Although there had been heavy rain overnight and even heavier rain that followed, the tournament itself took place in gloriously sunny weather with the pitches in immaculate condition. Someone was looking after us! Rokeby, as challengers knew that they required, as a minimum, half the available points if they were to regain the shield. The Under 9’s, as the youngest participants, were the first to finish. The B’s gave a good account of themselves in an attacking game losing 2-5. Mr Gannaway had predicted in the car park prior to the tournament starting that “the A’s would probably go two goals down and then stage a glorious recovery with Tom scoring the winner with minutes to spare.” Remarkably that is exactly what happened! One point each with six games to go. The Under 11’s were next to finish. The A team continued their rich vein of form with a convincing 3-0 win, reversing a defeat to Cranmore earlier in the season. The B team, with three regular players absent, showed exceptional resilience to pull off a hard-earned 1-1 draw. Rokeby leading 2.5-1.5 at the half way stage.
It was therefore all down to how the results panned out with the top and Under 10 teams. The 1st XI were involved in a magnificent tussle. Charlie, producing a captain’s performance, scored with a thundering header to equalise with only minutes remaining. However, the draw was snatched away from Rokeby with virtually the last kick of the game with a goal worthy of winning any match. Final score 2-3.
Meanwhile the 2nd IX were involved in an equally pulsating fixture with the lead changing hands regularly. Christian scored with two minutes remaining resulting in Rokeby pulling through 4-3. Rokeby were therefore 3.5-2.5 up at this stage with just the Under 10 results to come. The A’s worked exceptionally hard to make life for their opponents as difficult as possible. At half-time Cranmore led 2-1, Rokeby had all to play for. Although a number of chances were created the ball would not quite “drop” so the score remained the same at full time. The tournament score was therefore 3.5-3.5.
All eyes turned to the Under 10B’s! This proved to be a magnificent game of football. Alex gave the challengers a deserved lead at half time but Cranmore, after equalising midway through the second period, threw everything at Rokeby for the remainder of the game. The minutes ticked by incredibly slowly. The aforementioned Alex, rather like Superman, turned from striker to keeper and pulled off one magnificent save after another. Rokeby were simply not to be denied. The game finished 1-1, the tournament finished 4-4, so after seven long years …
Rokeby had won the Henkes Shield!
Rokeby had come out on top by the narrowest possible margin and now lead the competition by 18 wins to 16. The Captain of Football received the shield on behalf of the school. He and the rest of the Rokeby squad celebrated in suitable style. Congratulations to all boys on a fantastic achievement. Well done boys!