Bradfield’s 1stXI football team claimed a third Boodles ISFA Cup in seven years following a determined and deserved 3-2 victory over Cheadle Hulme in an atmospheric final on Monday 26 February at Stadium MK. Having reached a sixth ISFA Cup final after a dominant season, the team lifted the trophy thanks to an outstanding team performance with goals from Ike (G), Ted (F) and Marcus (C).

The match began with Bradfield dominating the possession, with Ike (G) slotting the ball into the back of the net after just nine minutes. Throughout the first half Bradfield had multiple shots on target with the Cheadle Hulme goalkeeper being put to work by some creative and effective pressure from the players.

Bradfield controlled their defensive efforts too, with Will (F) shutting down Cheadle Hulme attacks down the wing with ease. Ike (G) and Marcus (C) continued with a fantastic partnership as the boys had the lion’s share of the possession and attacking play. The countless and consistent chants from the swathes of Bradfield pupils in the stands was mirrored in the incessant Bradfield pressure in the first half. The boys closed out the half and looked to be on their way to victory.

The second half started much the same for Bradfield, with charge after charge demonstrating their intent to close the game off to their opponents. Will (F) was never hesitant to steal chances away from Cheadle Hulme when they did push towards the Bradfield goal. Ike (G) continued to dance through the defenders and had some outstanding shots on target, only to be rebuffed by the Cheadle Hulme keeper.

With sixty minutes on the clock, Bradfield conceded a penalty from a foul just inside the box with Cheadle Hulme equalising from the spot to square the game up at 1-1. As the intensity of the match grew with only louder cheers from the 800 or so pupils and staff in the crowd, Owen (D) took a free kick in the 63rd minute across to Ted (F), who sent a spectacular diving header past the Cheadle Hume goalkeeper to put the boys back into the lead.

Cheadle Hulme rallied and equalised again in the 66th minute to make it 2-2 but Bradfield kept their heads up and there was no hesitation in their recovery to make the final their own. Undeterred, the noise from the Bradfield crowd was nothing short of deafening as they willed the players to believe another goal could come their way.

The crowd found another level in the 81st minute, a precise Danail (D) chip across came to Marcus (C) who powered a header into the back of the net to a thunderous reaction. Bradfield had one hand on the trophy in the dying minutes and only had to defend and control briefly before the full-time whistle cemented their third Boodles ISFA Cup victory in six years.

The pure elation from the crowd, coaches and players alike will be remembered for a long time to come.

Huge congratulations to all the players involved as well as the coaching staff, including David Chatwin in his first year at Bradfield as Director of Football Performance, and coaches James Fox, Sarah Thompson and Matthew Rainbird.