SOUTHEND High School for Boys went down to county rivals Shenfield High School in the final of the Essex County Schools RH Pratt Under 19s Cup Final.
Second half goals from Oli Bell and Steve Stone saw Shenfield claim the title at Roots Hall. Southend skipper George Harvey had the chance to halve the deficit but saw his penalty saved in the second half.
Shenfield started the brighter and Bell had the first chance to score but he shot wide under pressure from Tommy Metcalfe.
George Harvey had a chance to give Southend the lead but he volleyed wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Goalless at the break, Shenfield came out firing and took the lead five minutes into the second period – Bell superbly diverting the ball home on the run from a Frank Fenton free-kick.
Southend didn’t switch on from the restart and were 2-0 only 60 seconds later. Steve Stone picked up the ball 30 yards out and fired high into the net past the despairing Metcalfe.
Ronnie Dajani had a chance to reduce arrears but shot over when well placed and Southend knew it wasn’t going to be their day when Gillard Ellis sent his header against the crossbar. The referee noticed a foul in the build-up, however, and pointed to the spot. Harvey stepped up but Sam Cole guessed right and made the save.
Shenfield added the trophy to the John Edwards Under 13s Girls Trophy and the Alan Child Under 16s Trophy already won this year.
“This one particularly means a lot to us because these boys have been at the school for seven years and they have been unbelievable ambassadors,” said Lee Thomas, Shenfield High School manager. “Their commitment to sport and everything around it has been superb, and it’s a particularly amazing year group. I know it means a lot to them, and it means a lot to us as well.”