King James Academy are once again heading to an English Schools’ national football final.

One year ago it was the boys who reached the last game, eventually finishing as runners-up.

This time it is the U15 girls that have earned the right to play in the biggest schools football event, their impressive run to the final yielding 15 goals from their six matches without conceding any.

Their place in the final was confirmed following a 4-0 win over The Priory Pembroke Academy in Lincoln.

The opening 20 minutes were tight with neither team able to create any clear-cut chances and defences on top.

Priory had the first real opportunity with a shot from six yards out, but superb reflexes by keeper Emily Wilkinson saw her stick out a boot and divert the ball wide.

King James then had a chance of their own and this time they found the net for the opening goal, Maddy McGee getting in behind the defence and going round the keeper before rolling the ball home.

That boosted the Royston school and as they pushed on, they got a second.

It was a memorable one too, Jessica D’Arcy cutting inside sending a sweetly-struck shot looping over the keeper.

But, even though KJA were in control, they had to rely on some luck, Priory hitting the inside of a post with the ball bouncing out.

However, McGee all but settled the game 15 minutes into the second half with her second, rolling one defender and then blasting past another with pace, before firing low into the far corner.

King James and McGee then wrapped things up with five minutes remaining to send them to a May final at The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion.


Head of PE and sport at the school, Rob Dowler, said: "The girls have all grown in confidence and developed their ability over recent years as their passion and dedication to football has grown.

"It has been fantastic to see this and how they have come together as a team.

"I can’t wait to see them now get the chance to perform in a professional stadium as they create what will surely be memories for life.

"The girls are excellent role models for all pupils at the school and in particular the younger girls in the school who I am sure will be inspired by them and be given the belief that they can achieve great things."

King James Academy: E.Wilkinson (C), E.Clare, E.Knight, B.Murray, M.Geldart, K.Asling, K.Coghlan, J.D’Arcy, M.McGee, G.Rowe, M.Burling, A.Lissen, F.Pitts, R.Osborne.