Hillcross Harmony at Delayed Development Football Finals

13th January 2023

The rescheduled MSSP Best Team Development Football Competition took place on Friday 13th January 2023 at the wonderful yet windy Astro facilities of Harris Academy Morden.

17 teams from 11 schools from all 5 clusters of the borough took part with great passion and determination across 13 rounds of 7 a side football matches throughout the day. The event was split into two sessions with the morning comprising of 4 groups, each team playing for top spot against the other teams in their group. These positions lead to an afternoon session where teams were drawn against others that had finished in parallel positions from the other groups.

The four groups were randomly drawn yet some closely battled contests took place with each group finishing as follows:

Group A

Holy Trinity

St Teresa


Bishop Gilpin

William Morris


Group B

SS Peter and Paul

Wimbledon Park A

Poplar A



Group C



Poplar B

Bishop Gilpin A


Group D

Poplar C

Wimbledon Park B

Bishop Gilpin D

Bishop Gilpin C


After lunch, all the 1st placed teams from the groups were placed into a Semi Final leading to a Final fixture to determine our overall top 3 teams. This format was repeated for the 2nd placed teams as well as the 3rd placed teams with the 4th and 5th placed teams grouped together in a pool of 5 to play their final 2 games against others of similar ability.

The semi-finals were hotly contested and had very little between both games with Hillcross overcoming Poplar C by a single goal to nil as well as Holy Trinity edging past SS Peter and Paul with a scoreline of 2-1. The save from the Holy Trinity goalkeeper in the last few seconds must be noted as one of the saves of the tournament and ultimately proved to be as important as a winning goal as it secured their place in the final. However it was Hillcross with the only goal of the final with their first attempt at goal! The game was unbelievably close, with a noticeable superb defensive effort from one of the Hillcross defenders! Holy Trinity, unfortunate for them, were unable to peg to score line back, leaving our 2023 Development Football Competition winners to be Hillcross Primary.

Congratulations to Holy Trinity on a well-earned Silver as well as SSPP who claimed Bronze in the 3/4 place play off with a convincing 5-0 victory.

Credit must go the other afternoon group winners St Teresa’s and Poplar A as well as our REFSPECT winners Poplar C and Dundonald for their outstanding display of sportsmanship and teamwork, voted for by all the other schools.

A big thanks must be credited to the 6 year 10 sports leaders from Harris Academy Morden for their support with the officiating of all the games and to such high standard and with great focus. You are all a credit to your school and these events simply cannot take place without the likes of you, our high school sports leaders from around Merton borough. Thank you and thanks to the Academy PE dept. for the use of the Astro Facilities on the day.

Thanks to all the school teachers and PE Cos for organising their teams. This year we have had 103teams  (1030 participants) representing their schools at borough football comps. (32 Best Team Borough Champs, 17 Best Team Development Comp, 20 Girls Year 3 and 4 Champs, 16 Girls Borough Champs, 18 Girls Dev. Comp)  This is an amazing achievement for us all in the borough. Already, we are thoroughly look forward to next year with our football development competitions and borough championships for 2023/24.

The overall positions are as follows:

1 Hillcross

2 Holy Trinity

3 SS Peter and Paul

4 Poplar C

5 St Teresa

6 Wimbledon Park B

7 Dundonald

7 Wimbledon Park A

9 Poplar A

10 Poplar B

11 Liberty

12 Bishop Gilpin D

13 Pelham

13 BG A

13 BG B

16 BG C

16 William Morris

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