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    Schoolboys Championship of Shropshire, February 1924

    BACKGROUND  to the introduction of a County Competition for Elementary schools in Shropshire.   District Leagues for Elementary Schools football had long been established when the idea to introduce a “County Competition” was introduced in the early part of 1924. 

    The following article appeared in the Shrewsbury Chronicle 22nd February 1924 “Schoolboys’ Championship of Shropshire” 

    With a view to encouraging sports and recreation among the elementary schoolboys of the county, it is proposed to offer for competition among the various schools a football trophy, carrying with it the Schoolboy Championship of Shropshire. 

    A meeting of the provisional committee was held at the Albert Hotel, Shrewsbury, on 15th February, and representatives attended from the Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Oswestry and Wrekin Divisions. 

    It was decided that the title of the competition should be “Shropshire Elementary Schoolboys’ county shield competition. “ and that boys taking part must be pupils of the School they represent, and under 14 years of age on January 14th. A sub-committee, consisting of Messrs. T. F. Holden (Chairman of the Shrewsbury Elementary Schools’ Athletic Association), E. Higham and S. Philpott (Shrewsbury) was appointed to draw up rules. The competition is to be divided into areas, consisting of Shrewsbury, Ludlow and South Shropshire;  Oswestry and Wrekin, and the matches drawn are to be played in suitable geographical districts, under the supervision of the local schools’ associations. The semi-final and final ties will be conducted by the county Association, the Shropshire FA to defray the cost of travelling expenses of the competing teams at these stages. As the school terms ends on April 17th, it is hoped that the final will be played about that period. Much interest is already being taken in the competition by the various schools and the general public, and the action of the County FA in promoting the game, with the object of providing suitable recreation and sport for the boys under the best possible conditions, is much appreciated. The Secretary for the competition protem is Mr. S. Philpott, 4 St. John Street, Shrewsbury. 

    1923-4 The First County Final for Schools  played at the Gay Meadow. 

    St. Michael’s (Shrewsbury) Versus Ketley Bank.  

    Since the inauguration of the Shrewsbury Elementary Schools Athletic Association, local interest in juvenile sports has increased by leaps and bounds and as a further encouragement to  the schools of the county, the officials of the Shropshire Football Association, have extended their interest in providing a splendid trophy in the nature of a shield, costing over £40, to be competed for annually. It is a fitting culmination to a remarkably successful season that the unbeaten team of St. Michael’s should hold this shield, for the first year, this honour being gained by their victory over Ketley Bank on the Gay Meadow. An unfortunate fall of rain rendered the going somewhat heavy for the youngsters but nevertheless, a very pleasing game was witnessed, with a strong contrast in styles, markedly in favour of the home players. 

    The St. Michael’s team dominated the game from the beginning excellent runs being made by Tipton on the right wing and Wassall on the left. Some good centres were sent across the goalmouth which were not taken advantage of, the slippery state of the ground being responsible to some extent. As the game progressed, the Ketley Bank defence got no respite and Hayward, in goal, effected good clearances from Wassall. A Howells and Parrs, Ketley Bank kicked away strongly. Jones, at Centre Half, being prominent in holding up St. Michael’s centre and rendering ineffective many promising movements. The visitors, however, found themselves unable to break through a stronger defence, the halves and backs of St. Michaels being able to check all advances of their opponents. Phillips almost succeeded in converting a centre from Wassall who later nearly scored with a shot which struck the upright. Ketley Bank were fortunate in having no goal registered against them in the first half. 

    On resuming, St. Michael’s immediately broke away.Tipton running down on the right past to A. Howells, who beat Pagett in speed and scored with a fast shot in the first minute. Ketley Bank made a good effort in the centre and Suter was penalised but the free kick was placed outside. The left wing of the visitors, particularly, F. Jones, made several good efforts but were never really dangerous. Wassall, who was injured towards the end of the first half, was compelled to retire but Ketley Bank reaped no advantage for Phillips and  Suter more than held their own on the left, the former, well meriting applause for some individual efforts. The second goal was scored by Tipton who finished a good run by shooting strongly along the ground, Hayward being unable to prevent the ball rolling over the line. Jones and Onions, worked through the St. Michael’s defence but Evans easily cleared the only shot he had to deal with during the game. 

    St. Michael’s were clearly the superior side throughout their teamwork and general understanding being excellent. Ketley Bank were continuously on the defensive and a pleasing feature of the game was the excellent goalkeeping of Hayward. 

    After the match both teams were entertained to tea by the Shropshire Football Association. The Mayor (Councillor R. Bates-Maddison) and the Chief Constable (Mr. F. Davies) were present and addressed the boys. On behalf of the Shropshire Association the Chief Constable stated the reasons for not presenting medals with the shield. Working in conjunction with the various schools associations, the aim is to be inculcate in the boys, a true sporting spirit, as opposed to that of personal gain. 

    Teams St. Michael’s - Evans; Tunley; Glover; Roberts; Parry; Suter; Tipton; A. Howells; E. Howells; Phillips; Wassall.

    Ketley Bank – Hayward; Edge; Pagett; Anderson; J. Jones; Simpson; Evans; Pearce; Edwards; Onions; F. Jones.

    Referee – Mr. R. Hughes

     

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    Due to the current Covid-19 virus situation, SSCFA have taken the decision to postpone all SSCFA organised activity until further notice. Whilst this is a decision we would rather not have to make, we do believe that adopting this position provides direction and consistency for our members and also prevents individuals (parents/carers, school staff, SSCFA officials) from being placed in difficult positions regarding individual decisions. Most importantly, it does all we can to protect and safeguard the health of young people in Shropshire.

    Another reason for taking this decision is the unlikelihood of us being able to secure suitable venues for our finals once we reach this stage of competitions meaning our cup competitions would not be able to conclude in any case.

    It is our intention, should it be possible, to complete all current competitions once the dangers associated with Covid-19 have lessened suitably but we will provide updates at the appropriate times.

    During this period of postponed activity, individual schools are of course completely in control of their own decisions to play inter-school fixtures against one another. As such, if both schools (already drawn against each other) wish to play a fixture it is in their gift to do so and the result can be submitted in the usual way. However, if either school wishes not to participate in a fixture, no game will be awarded to the opposing school and the draw will remain frozen.

    We apologise for any disappointment this decision causes but hope it is a decision that our membership will both understand and support.

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Wednesday 10th July 2019
AGM
(Shrewsbury School. Peterson Room) 5pm