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Premier Division leaders Sheffield United Community beat Hull City (second at start of day) 4-1 in the Final of the North East Women's Regional League Cup at Garforth Town on Sunday.
An entertaining, end to end game with plenty of chances at both ends was hardly surprising given that United had won 5-3 in a near title decider when the two sides had met in the league a fortnight earlier and both teams started with the same 11 players at Garforth as they had done in the league encounter.
Both semi finals had been washed out due to heavy rain on 29th April and so the two teams went into the final with their semi final successes being their most recent action. Hull had beaten Peterlee 2-1 the previous Sunday and United, in action for the third midweek running, had triumphed 3-0 at Castleford on the Wednesday.
The game's first chance came in the second minute when Tania Marsden's low shot was clawed back by Hull keeper Emma Hayward.
Hayward's opposite number Kirsty Johnson was alert to the danger as she came out quickly to clear before an otherwise through on goal Frankie Waller could take advantage of the situation.
Marsden, who has been in free scoring form for United as their double bid gathered momentum in recent months, advanced from halfway, cut in from the left and then tried her luck with a shot from over 20 yards which was just off target.
It was Hull's turn to attack and this time there was a goal as Sian Bentley netted with a low shot from an angle on the left of the penalty area on 13 minutes.
Chelsea Burke had a shot saved at Jen Pearson's corner as United strove for an instant equaliser. Waller got the better of the United defence at the other end and went past Johnson, but was forced wide and Johnson managed to get back and do enough to distract Waller who shot into the side netting.
The game was mirroring a long rally in tennis with first United and then City attacking. United levelled when Marsden's equally prolific strike partner, Cheryl Mawhood fired home from an angled on the left of the area after Marsden had headed on Pearson's diagonal ball forward after 24 minutes.
Bentley went close to restoring Hull's advanatge, but her free kick was pushed on to the bar by Johnson. Hull themselves were then reprieved by the bar when Ami Buzzeo met Burke's centre.
United broke the alternating sequence of clear attacking moves when Pearson scored from ten yards after Mawhood had headed on a ball from Paige Lewis two minutes before the interval.
Hull came out strongly after the break, Waller getting clear of Nat Froggatt, but the pace of the ball favoured Johnson who came out to smother. The balance of early second half play belonged to Hull, but they were undone in what was United's first foray after the interval with Mawhood scoring from a similar angle to her first goal after a crossfield pass by Pearson.
Johnson pushed away a free kick from Waller which may have otherwise just sneaked inside the post. Waller fed Bentley whose shot was blocked by Johnson and United only negated the danger when Stacey Hubbard's shot was saved.
Had City pulled it back to 3-2, then an interesting last fifteen minutes was in prospect, but United wrapped it up when Buzzeo scored from 25 yards on 78 minutes.
The only sour note of a game played in good spirit was a reckless lunge by Bentley, who received a yellow card and it could easily have been red, on United substitute Demi West who had to be helped off and it was later diagnosed as a broken bone in her leg.
Sheffield Utd Community: Kirsty Johnson, Deryn Ahmed, Paige Lewis, Rachael Ruddach, Nat Froggatt, April Taylor, Jen Pearson, Ami Buzzeo, Tania Marsden, Cheryl Mawhood, Chelsea Burke. Subs: Demi West, Amy Bolton, Lena Brooks, Heather Craddock.
Hull City: Emma Hayward, Stacey Watts, Charley McNamara, Ellice Jackman, Helen Fordon, Claire Goforth, Rachel Cooke, Frankie Waller, Sian Bentley, Rebecca Beech, Stacey Hubbard. Subs: Sophie Kirkby, Melissa Halstead, Amy Wilson.
(Report by Julian Barker)
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