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Women's Football News
Premier Division champions Bay Ladies met runners-up Alphington in the Westward Developments Devon League Cup Final on an excellent playing surface at Tedburn St Mary on one of the hottest Sundays of the year.
Both teams had good reason to win the trophy - Bay Ladies were looking for a treble, having already won the League and the Devon Supplementary Cup and Alphington were the Cup holders and looking to win it for a record third consecutive time.
Having recently beaten Alphington 8-2 to clinch the league, Bay started as slight favourites, but it was the Alphas who drew first blood as early as the fifth minute. Becky Folds, who was to be a constant threat to the Bay defence all afternoon, latched on to a through ball, outpaced her markers and coolly lobbed the advancing 'keeper from well outside the penalty area.
With the wind at their backs and a goal in front, the first half belonged to Alphington. Lola Garcia Sanchez and Gemma Aspinall along with Becky Folds were causing problems for the Bay back line, but were unable to add to their tally.
Bay were restricted to long range shots and a number of free kicks from Louisa Stentiford-Crook that were comfortably handled by 'keeper, Ashleigh Brown and her defenders.
The second half saw Bay lay seige to the Alphington goal. Stentiford-Crook headed a cross from Lizzie Putt against the bar and Laura Baker had a shot well saved by the keeper. A 30-yard free kick from Stentiford-Crook was magnificently tipped over the bar by Brown and from the resultant corner, Bay had a strong appeal for a penalty waved aside. Putt then hit the post with the keeper beaten.
Alphington were restricted to breakaways and Jo Hollingworth had to be alert to prevent Folds doubling the advantage. Other chances were thwarted by last ditch tackles from Adele Rogers and Jo Fawke.
Bay applied more pressure but Alphas skipper Sammy Gray and the experience Karen Buck marshalled their troops to keep deny them an equaliser. This spell of pressure brought the only caution of the game as Emily King brought down Gaby Trays in full flight, but the free kick was cleared from the danger area.
With the opposition pushing players forward, Alphington caught them on the break once more and this time they made no mistake. Lola Garcia Sanchez outran the chasers from the halfway line to score the goal her performance deserved and put her team 2-0 in front.
Bay hit back and reduced the arrears with a penalty from Stentiford-Crook but it was too little, too late and within minutes, Alphington were celebrating their third consecutive Cup win at the end of a well fought Cup Final.
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