Saturday, May 10

Surrey Cup Final U13's

Hampton School take on the Whitgift School in the Surrey Cup U13's school finals. The prize, the Therfield Trophy, has exchanged hands for 70 years.  Last year Eitan's Elm Grove won the Surrey Cup U12's.

Hampton the under-dogs given that four or five of the Whitgift boys play for the Academies including the brilliant No. 10, Callum Hudson Odoi, who is signed with Chelsea and selected the best Surrey U13 player for the 2014 season. Eitan assigned to mark Callum and the fist-half Eitan on his ass more often than not but by the second half he has him figured him.  It's an intensely physical game, too: loud brutal crunching that we hear 30 meters downfield; a number of collisions that stop the action and I think at least one boy concussed but no way is he coming out.

The game starts in good form with Hampton up 1-nil but we trail the rest of the match, equalising in regulation play and then again with a two minutes in over-time.  Us parents bounce along a roller coaster of highs and lows . ..  It comes down to the dreaded penalty kicks and anyone who follows English football knows that PKs mean one thing: defeat.  I have my "everyone is a winner" speech prepared for the ride home.

Hampton misses the first PK and Whitgift hit the next three. Then they miss. And miss again. Louie lines up to win the game or go down in sweet infamy.

So, the giant cumulous clouds frame the pitch as the sun sets.  Louie drops the ball on the spot and I can tell he's anxious - no shit.  One step.. then two and away she goes : all net! The boys erupt in joy and relief and fall on top of Louie. Several of the mums burst into tears. Wow wow wow.