Kirk Balk Academy Finish as Runners-up in EFL Area Finals

A team from Kirk Balk Academy finished as runners-up in the U13 North East Area Finals today!

The school, who qualified to represent Barnsley Football Club in the tournament after winning a competition against other local schools last month, played some fantastic football in Middlesbrough before being edged by an impressive Sunderland side in the final.

Barnsley were joined by Bradford City, Grimsby Town, Hull City, Leeds United, hosts Middlesbrough, Scunthorpe United and Sunderland in the tournament.

Each team played each other once, with the top four from the league table progressing into the semi-finals.

Kirk Balk began the day by edging Yorkshire rivals Bradford before being held to a goalless draw by Scunthorpe.

A narrow defeat to Hull followed but the girls responded with comprehensive 3-0 and 2-0 wins over Middlesbrough and Grimsby respectively.

The Reds fell to a 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Sunderland before beating Leeds to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Having been held to a stalemate earlier in the tournament, Barnsley then deservedly toppled Scunthorpe in the semi-final 1-0 to set up a rematch with Sunderland.

It was the Black Cats who were to advance to the Northern finals, however, claiming a 1-0 win in the tight tournament final.

  1. Kirk Balk’s Head of Girls PE Katie Shepherd hailed the girls’ attitude throughout the day despite playing outdoors in cold and wet conditions.

She said: “The girls played excellently from the first game. We all worked together as a team and were very positive. It was battled and determined performances from them right the way through. They’ve been buzzing all day. We got on the coach at half seven this morning and I had a headache by the time I got here! They were really positive and giddy to get going. The weather has been freezing, cold and wet as you would expect in the north but they just got on with it. They didn’t let that stop them.”

Matty Rodgers, one of a number of parents who made the 150+ mile trip to support the team, was also proud of the girls’ performance.

He said: “I think they’ve done the school proud but most of all they’ve done Barnsley FC and the Barnsley community really proud. We were second out of the north of England. We’re really proud of them. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for them and I think they’ve grabbed it with both hands and made the most of it. I know they were really proud to be representing Barnsley Football Club as well as the school and they’ve done everybody really proud.”