ALTRINCHAM Grammar School for Boys were beaten 2-0 by Millfield School in their first ever appearance in the ESFA Hudl U18s' Schools' Cup final, played at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium.
The Altrincham school had high hopes heading into their first final, with their prolific attack scoring an impressive 35 goals in eight rounds – the highest of any team in the competition.
Millfield began brightly but crosses were dealt with by Altrincham centre-backs Thomas Kelly and Oliver Harding or claimed by keeper Young Lu, who managed to play the final with a broken finger.
But the stopper was unable to save Harrison Ardron’s volley which flew into the top corner before half time.
Despite the half-time team talk from manager Darren Birtwell and Neil Kelly, Millfield doubled their lead soon after the break when the Altrincham defence switched off from a free kick, which allowed Matt Samuel to score from a yard out.
Heading towards the final stages of the game, Altrincham committed more players forward and winger Henry Blease made a great run down the right-hand side, but his audacious attempt to lob the goalkeeper drifted wide.
Dylan Scanlan and Jack Blundell also came close to pulling one back for Altrincham, and free kicks into the box from Oscar Armitage were well defended by Millfield.
However, despite the increasing pressure, they could not find a way past the stubborn Millfield defence.
The most successful Altrincham team ever will look to the coming weeks, where they hope to defend their Greater Manchester Schools' Cup after reaching the final for the third consecutive year.