Girls roar to glory in football final
A girls' school football team inspired by England's Lionesses roared to victory in a national competition.
The Priory Girls under 12s from Shrewsbury secured a 3-1 win over a school The Cherwell School from Oxford in the ESFA PlayStation National Cup final in front of a stadium packed out with friends and family cheering them on.
The girls travelled down to The Trico Stadium, home to Redditch United, for the big match, followed by two coachloads of supporters including fellow pupils.
The first half was close, with Priory dominating possession but Cherwell carving out the better chances. Lucy Newell, one of Priory's star players who is also part of the West Bromwich Albion youth set-up, landed heavily on her wrist, but was bandaged up and soldiered on.
The game was scoreless at the break, but Priory took the lead five minutes after the restart through Lucy Newell's powerful strike from long range, before Bess Watson made it two 90 seconds later.
The Shrewsbury side were in control and all but secured the win with Lucy Newell's bullet header to make it 3-0 with 10 minutes to go.
Cherwell battled back, and got on the scoresheet with a few minutes left with a super strike from outside the box. Both sides had chances in the closing stages, with Cherwell's goalkeeper making an impressive double save to deny Priory a fourth. But they would not be denied the win, and returned to Shrewsbury with their third piece of silverware this season after winning the County Cup and a 5-a-side tournament.
Pete Walters, head of PE at the school, said: "Player of the match went to Bess Watson whose dominance in midfield was simply a joy to watch and an inspiration to all other players and supporters who had made the journey. After the game it was a trip to the hospital for Lucy after the first half injury and unfortunately she had fractured her wrist. For her to have been so desperate to continue to play and with scoring two of Priory’s three goals, it makes her performance even more remarkable."
Principal Michael Barratt added: "Our supporting entourage of parents, carers, grandparents, sisters, cousins, aunts, friends, students in years seven and 10 and a number of staff provided lots of noise and encouragement, which undoubtedly helped the girls. In themselves, they were inspiring – they worked hard, played as a team and played confidently. It was, in so many ways, a wonderful moment for them and the school."
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