Upton football squad triumphs in Les Riggs Cup after valiant fight from Salmestone

Upton football champs

The Upton Junior School football squad is celebrating after winning the Les Riggs Cup, the main cup tournament for primary schools in the area.

The competition spans the whole season with 28 teams entering and matches played round by round, just like in the FA Cup, until two teams meet in the final.

This year saw Upton facing Salmestone in the crunch final that saw the best of Broadstairs taking on the might of Margate.

Upton started exceptionally well, scoring in the first few minutes after Bailey outpaced the Salmestone defence. Ten minutes later the same player scored again, his pace allowing him to reach a bouncing ball ahead of the opposition.

A third goal was to follow just before the break. Started by Blake in goal, a beautiful flowing move led to Seth calmly finishing.

At 3-0 at half-time Upton were still cautious and rightly so as Salmestone stormed back – 3-0 became 3-1, then 3-2 as Salmestone’s commitment and skill drove Upton back.

The Upton defence of Harrison, Joe and Archie didn’t panic; superb running and battling all match from captain Ethan, Jack and Brock kept Salmestone at bay, while Bailey chased everything in attack.

There was more drama yet to come in the final second. A Salmestone free-kick heading for the top corner looked like a certain last gasp equaliser until it was tipped onto the crossbar by the goalie and Upton had won the cup once again.

Deputy Head of School Dave Walker trained the football team. He said: “It has been a long season but nothing was longer than those last minutes of the final when the game hung in the balance.

“Full credit to both teams. The Les Riggs Cup is the one that everyone wants to win – it has been the main event for schools football for years in Thanet. It is so competitive and the standard of football is so high that matches are always extremely close-fought affairs right across the district.”