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The Hampshire Schools FA Under-16 Girls team travelled to the County Ground, Swindon to play Leicestershire in the Final of the ESFA U16 Girls Inter-County Championship in what was their eighth appearance in the 10-year history of the competition.
They shared it with Merseyside in 2005 and won it the next two years against Leicestershire and then West Yorkshire under the management team of Vanessa Raynbird and Neil Cleaver.
On a very warm day, both teams made a nervous start with the defences generally on top. However, Leicestershire created the first opportunity when Lysette Russell and keeper Nicky Beck allowed Kirsty Farnsworth, the Leicestershire striker, to beat them to the ball on the edge of the penalty area and slot it between them. However Lysette Russell recovered very quickly and managed it clear the ball just feet from the line. At the other end, Hampshire's Rosie Goodship saw the keeper off her line and a long shot cleared the keeper but drop off the bar in to the retreating keeper's arms.
The game swung from end to end with few real chances being created but Hampshire playing some good football and after about ten minutes of the second half, the ball was slotted through and Becky Jane showed her class and gave the keeper no chance to put Hampshire Schools ahead.
In a goalmouth scramble towards the end of the game, keeper Nicky Beck made an excellent save with her feet to keep a clean sheet and see Hampshire home. In what was a very hard fought game, each player can feel well pleased with a good team performance.
Hampshire squad: Daisy Allen, Nicky Beck, Molly Booth, Lauren Boswell, Yasmin Hunter, Lauren Cheshire, Beth Connolly, Louise Delaney, Rosie Goodship, Ellise Hales, Rebecca Jane, Kirsty Palfreyman, Katie Quinlan, Lysette Russell, Paige Sawyer, Rachel Snow, Yzzy Taylor.
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