It’s been 25 years since Rainhill High School's Year 8 side last made a Merseyside Cup Final – but they more than made up for lost time as they put Rainhill’s name on the trophy for the very first time.
Rainhill’s first final appearance since 1994 resulted in a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Bebington Sports College at Liverpool’s Wyncote Sports Centre.
Rainhill went into the game full of confidence on the back of a 5-2 semi-final victory over a highly-fancied Bluecoat outfit but were soon brought down to earth, conceding a goal after only three minutes.
Goalkeeper Jack Pilkington saved Rainhill from going even further behind, but from then on Bebington found themselves increasingly on the back foot. Michael Laffey and Jayden Danns both rattled the crossbar, and in between Owen Dagnall went close with a header, leaving Rainhill still trailing at half-time.
After the interval Rainhill’s Jamie Shum, Liam Farley and Joe Morgan continued to blunt Bebington’s creative edge, and both Reece Williams and Danns again went close, but the equaliser still would not come.
Bebington’s resistance was eventually broken by Mikey Hayman, who thought he’d put Rainhill in front just minutes later only to see his header rebound off the underside of the bar. But Rainhill were not to be denied and in the final quarter of the match Dagnall, Williams and Danns turned pressure into goals to give their side a famous victory.
Rainhill High School PE teacher and team manager, Michael Wood said:
“We are absolutely buzzing! This was a wonderful occasion and a superb performance by magnificent bunch of lads. Bebington played their part too, as did our parents. Their support was fantastic.”
The Rainhill squad was: Jack Pilkington; Joe Morgan; Liam Farley (captain); Nathan Mercer; Harry Holness; Jamie Shum; Michael Laffey; Reece William; Mikey Hayman; Owen Dagnall; Jayden Danns; Josh Davidson; Max Jeffrey; Jacob Roberts; Sam Edwards.