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Women's Football News
Devon won the South & West Counties Under-18 Championship with a stunning 4-1 victory over Hampshire in the Final at Winklebury.
After a goalless first half, manager Peter Distin made tactical changes at half time which proved fruitful and saw Devon carry off the trophy for the second time.
Hampshire were first on the attack and a 30-yard shot from Jen Osmond struck the Devon woodwork. Five minutes later, Devon's Becky Atkins sent Chloe Roberts away with a through ball and the striker forced Hampshire goalkeeper Yzabelle Taylor to bring off a brilliant one-handed save.
On 13 minutes a fierce low drive by Jade Kirby was well saved by Devon keeper Michaela Phillips who was again called into action to stop an effort from point blank range by Becky Miles.
Roberts had two chances to score on the half hour but was firstly denied with a goalline clearance by Polly Wardle and then with a high save from Taylor.
The second half was a different story and it was not surprising when Devon took the lead nine minutes after the restart when Becky Rose set up Roberts to slot past Taylor.
Three minutes later and Hampshire were level as their prominent goalscorer Becky Miles scored with a long shot from out on the left which sailed over the head of Phillips.
However on the hour mark, Devon had restored their lead when a corner taken by Becky Rose found the head of her sister Jemma Rose to reach the back of the net.
Roberts then burst through the Hampshire defence and, with a rocket of a shot, hit the post. Devon were not to be denied though and doubled their lead as Jemma Rose found Roberts whose shot rebounded off the bar to Sophie Drake and the substitute backheeled the ball for Chloe Bassett to tuck home.
Eleven minutes from time, Roberts passed the ball back for Atkins to fire home Devon's fourth and put the seal on a triumphant victory.
After the match, Chloe Roberts was presented with the match ball for netting her 21st goal for Devon - a new record - of which 13 were scored in seven matches this season. The prolific striker was recently awarded a scholarship to the University of North Alabama along with Hampshire duo Julia and Jen Osmond.
(Report by Jim Pearcy)
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