U16 Girls Football County Final
On Tuesday 10th May our U16 Girls football team played in an epic county cup final against Thorpe St Andrew. The game was played at Norfolk FA’s ‘Field of Dreams’ at the FDC in Bowthorpe under floodlights and provided a superb spectacle for the 100 or so supporters. Having walked out through the tunnel, been introduced to the chairman of the Norfolk Schools FA and gone through all the other pre-match rituals the girls were completely ready for the game.
The first half was very even with neither keeper having much to do until Lauren Hemp burst on to a great through ball from midfield, beat the last defender and was bearing down on goal. She knocked the ball past the keeper and was upended inside the penalty box. The referee rightly pointed to the spot and decided the goalkeeper should receive a yellow card. Lauren dusted herself down and slotted the penalty low to the keepers right only for the penalty to have to be retaken as someone (Keita) had entered the penalty area before the ball was kicked. Lauren again placed it to the keepers right and we led 1-0 at half time.
The second half began in a similar fashion as the ball spent most of the time in midfield but as the players got tired the game began to open up. Both keepers were called in to action and both teams struck the woodwork as the tension built until Thorpe equalised as their forward reacted quickest to the ball coming back out after a good Jemma Parsons save. There were chances at both ends as each pushed for a winner but the whistle sounded to send us in to extra time with the score 1-1.
North Walsham started the stronger in extra time and a superb strike from 30 yards by Lauren put us 2-1 in front. This was short lived as a cross into the box by Thorpe bounced up awkwardly and struck our defenders hand to give them a penalty which was scored, 2-2. As many players began to feel the full effects of their endeavours and suffered cramp the pace of the game slowed down with only rare moments of excitement or panic before the final whistle went and the game went to penalties.
North Walsham scored, Thorpe scored, NW missed, Thorpe scored, NW scored, Thorpe penalty saved by Jemma, NW hit post, Thorpe scored, NW scored leaving Thorpe needing to score to win. Jemma saved again to send it to sudden death. Unfortunately we missed and Jemma could not repeat her heroics and so Thorpe were champions. Lauren Hemp was awarded man of the match and all the girls received their runners up medals to a huge round of applause.
The girls should be exceptionally proud of themselves for the way that they played and the way they conducted themselves. They exceeded my expectations on both counts playing against a team that have been on two overseas football tours together. It has been a pleasure managing this team this year and it was certainly an experience they will remember.
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