A Caerphilly-based girls under-13s football team has seen off opposition from seven other teams to be crowned the Welsh Schools Football Association champions in 2017.
The final was contested between Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni and Ysgol Llanfair Caereinion, and was played at Park Hall, Oswestry – home to Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints – on Saturday May 6.
An action-packed match somehow remained goalless, and the trophy was decided by the nail-biting lottery of a penalty shoot-out. Fortunately, Cwm Rhymni’s under-13s emerged triumphant, winning 4-3 from 12 yards.
The girls’ victory caps an impressive campaign for the year 7 and 8 pupils, who won each of their six games on route to the final and avenging the school’s 2014 final defeat.
Councillor Nigel George, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “I would like to congratulate Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni girls U13s team for this fantastic achievement and wish them luck as they go further in representing Wales in the home nations competition in the autumn.
“Their achievement is a reflection of all the hard work and training of the team and their coaches over the past year. I hope their success will encourage other young people to get more involved with football and other sports and to realize their full potential.”
Cwm Rhymni will now represent the whole of the Welsh Schools FA at Lilleshall in the autumn competing against teams from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
• Representatives from Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni also shared a stage with some of Welsh football’s most recognisable players after being awarded for its dedication to football at the Football Association of Wales’ annual awards ceremony at Celtic Manor, Newport.
The school won the Lidl Play More Football School of the Year award for its part in embracing the programme, which sees nearly 13,000 children across Wales given the opportunity to play football.
After receiving the award from Wales legend Ian Rush, pupil Rosie Morgan insisted the scheme had a big impact on her school community.
She said: “Obviously, it’s a really great achievement to win because everything we do in the school means something.
“Now we’ve won, we can show the rest of the school that what we are doing is really making a difference. It’s really great to show that all the hard work that we’ve done has paid off.”