GRAFTON PRIMARY PICKED up the first silverware of the Barking & Dagenham Schools’ FA season with victory in the Evans Moore Cup on Saturday. A 3-0 win over Valence A in the final secured the Borough’s 7-a-side title.
Grafton started the day in Group A and wins over Thames View and Hunters Hall, along with a draw with Godwin, was enough to see them top the group. Godwin went through as runners up after beating Hunters Hall in their final group game.
Group B was easily won by Valence A, who won all three games without conceding. The runners-up spot had to be decided by spot kicks after George Carey Blues and Ripple finished with identical records. However, it was Ripple who held their nerve to progress.
Group C was won by Valence B, who won two and drew two. They were joined in the knockout stages by Roding Cannington, who edged out Richard Alibon by a single point.
Group D saw George Carey Red come out on top with three wins from their four games. Roding Hewett completed the last eight line up, going through despite losing their final group game 4-0 to the group winners.
Grafton made light work of Roding Cannington in their first quarter-final. Valence A soon joined them in the last four with a comeback 2-1 victory over Roding Hewett. Valence B booked their place in the semi-finals with a narrow 1-0 win over Godwin whilst George Carey Red brushed Ripple aside to progress.
The first semi-final saw Grafton and Valence B square up. Despite creating a number of chances, Grafton were unable to find a way through and the game ended 0-0. The situation was crying out for a hero and it arrived in the shape of Grafton’s keeper George Miller. His excellent save from Valence’s first penalty making the difference.
Valence A and George Carey played out an exciting second semi-final. An early goal from Valence saw them take the lead and George Carey couldn’t find a way back. Meaning Valence, winners in the previous two seasons, were through where they would be aiming to make it a hat-trick of titles.
However Grafton, who hadn’t let a goal in on their way to the final, had other ideas and took an early lead when Miller scored direct from a goal kick. Valence tried to battle back by another Miller effort doubled Grafton’s lead. Grafton were now full of confidence and scored a well-worked third to put the the game to bed and secure the silverware.
Grafton now go forward to represent the Borough in the County finals later this month.