THE 16th annual Hipsburn First School Football Tournament was hailed as an immense success with hundreds of parents, children and supporters attending the Trident Soccer-organised school fund-raising event at the weekend.
Despite the predicted threat of severe weather conditions, the rain stayed away and a 13-team tournament went ahead, resulting in hosts Hipsburn United lifting the prestigious championship trophy.
Teams of boys and girls from schools as far apart as Alnwick, Amble, Belford, Felton, Hipsburn, Rock, Shilbottle, Thropton and Wooler participated in one of the closest competitions ever staged at the school, said Trident Soccer FA coach Ryan Jobson.
“The standard of football today was tremendous and I’d like to congratulate all of the teams involved in making the tournament such a huge success. I’d also like to thank parents, children and the schools for their continued support,” he said.
The final was an entertaining, all-action encounter between Hipsburn United and Alnwick South.
Alnwick started the stronger and created several first-half opportunities but were denied by a series of superb saves from Hipsburn shot-stopper Harvey Wort.
The second half was an even encounter as Hipsburn fought back and opened the scoring through Kristian Atkinson.
Alnwick’s riposte was swift, with Owen Johnson producing an emphatic finish to equalise within seconds of the restart.
The game was heading toward extra-time, with FA referee Richard Kelly about to blow the whistle, when player-of-the-tournament Marco Mackenely lobbed the ball into the Alnwick net with the last kick of the game.
The third place play-off between Amble First School and Thropton Tigers was a draw.
Hipsburn headteacher Dot Charlton congratulated all the children involved at the awards presentation.
“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has participated in the event and I’d like to thank all our helpers, staff and volunteers as well as tournament organisers Trident Soccer,” she said.