Clegg Shield: Newfield School heroes on the spot to end a 49-year wait to lift prestigious trophy at Bramall Lane

Newfield School, winners of the Clegg Shield 2017, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 9th May 2017. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Newfield School, winners of the Clegg Shield 2017, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 9th May 2017. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
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Newfield School wrote their name onto the prestigious Clegg Shield after beating Forge Valley 4-2 on penalties.

Over 1,000 spectators attended the final of the oldest schoolboy competition in the world at Bramall Lane on May 9.

The match went to extra-time then penalties after Forge Valley fought back from two goals down in the second-half, thanks to Josh Taylor’s double.

Goals from Alex McIlvanney and Brandon Howard had put Newfield ahead before they were pegged back.

With momentum shifting in Forge Valley’s favour, Newfield goalkeeper Jake Groombridge made “a truly world class save”, according to his assistant headteacher and joint manager Josh Fisher, to keep the scores level and force extra-time.

“It was Gordon Banks-esque,” said Fisher. “That was certainly a turning point for our mentality. In the last 15 minutes Forge Valley played great stuff. We were sitting on the crossbar.”

Four successful penalties and another crucial Groombridge save sealed Newfield’s victory in the shootout, with Liam Waldock and Elliot Fox also getting on the scoresheet.

Fisher heaped praise on the team after they held their nerve to win the trophy for the first time since 1968: “The boys were tremdous. They showed great determination,” he said.

“In every single round they had a moment when they could have sunk to the ground.

“They worked so hard to get to the final and they didn’t bottle it on the night. They showed great courage - they deserved it.”

Victory caps an excellent few years for the departing pupils, who made the quarter-finals of the national cup last year.

“They are the best year 11 team in that age bracket [in Sheffield]”, said Fisher “It’s an exceptional way to sign off.

“We’re so proud of those boys and we’re just glad they signed off in a way that was fitting.”

The Clegg Shield has a long history, having been contested for more than 125 years. The first tournament took place in 1889.

The annual competition for year 11 pupils in Sheffield is among the highlights of schools football in the city.