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Prince of Wales 6 Abbey Rangers 2
Prince of Wales claimed the South East Counties League Chairman's Cup Final with a 6-2 victory over Abbey Rangers at Redhill FC.
The competition features teams from Division One West and East and the Canterbury-based club, East Division runners-up, took the honours with clinical finishing. The highlight was a hat-trick for Caroline Rennie in an entertaining encounter as Prince of Wales lifted the Cup in their second appearance in the Final.
Abbey Rangers were unfortunate in the second minute as an attacker was obstructed outside the area by PoW keeper Jade Brookes when clean through on goal and the resulting free kick was sent over the bar by Steph Sale. Prince of Wales took the lead on 15 minutes when a right wing cross from Danni Ritson was laid off by Chloe Galvin for Rennie to net from close range.
The lead was doubled on 28 minutes when Rennie took another right wing cross past the last defender before shooting across Holly Nunn. The same player nearly completed a quickfire hat-trick but Nunn pushed her shot on to the post and away for a corner. The reprieve was short lived, however, as a towering header by Justine Newton from the set piece gave Prince of Wales a comfortable margin.
Abbey Rangers found new resolve to fight their way back into the match in the final third of the first half. Rachel Johnson proved the catalyst for the fightback, running powerfully from half way before setting up her sister Hannah for a neat finish on 37 minutes. Only a fine save from Brookes prevented an immediate second for Abbey, throwing herself at Rachel Johnson's feet to claim a through ball.
Prince of Wales skipper Maria Wharfe nearly netted with a hooked effort narrowly wide but Abbey finished the half strongly to give themselves hope for the second period.
Prince of Wales restarted strongly, however, and extended their lead when Rennie finished powerfully from an excellent right wing cross on 59 minutes. Abbey responded immediately when a speculative effort from Rachel Johnson evaded Brookes and dropped in the net.
Prince of Wales dominated the final half hour as Rennie was twice denied a fourth goal by fine saves from Nunn, blocking close range efforts at full stretch. Ritson was just wide with another effort before Victoria King made the game safe with a run and lobbed finish. Perhaps the best goal of the day came just before the end with Rennie the provider this time, setting up Galvin for a crisp 20-yard drive low into the bottom left corner.
Prince of Wales, so impressive in defeat in the Kent Plate Final, found the finishing touch this time to claim the prize. Results elsewhere on day confirmed their runners up position in the league, which allowed a double celebration at the presentation ceremony. Abbey Rangers, in their first season at this level, still have a chance of claiming a similar league finish after a fine season, but were second best on the day.
Prince of Wales: Jade Brookes, Claire Gilmour, Liberty Prior, Emma Viscount, Charlotte Scamps, Victoria King, Danni Ritson, Maria Wharfe, Isobelle Woods, Caroline Rennie, Justine Newton. Subs: Louisa Croasdale, Ashleigh Holmes, Chloe Galvin, Kate Goddard.
Abbey Rangers: Holly Nunn, Lydia Jones, Amber Othen, Clare Walding, Alice Cherry, Steph Sale, Kerrie Parsons, Tamsin Lansdowne, Rachel Johnson, Amber Walker, Hannah Johnson. Subs: Lauren Campbell, Jenni Beckett, Alice Latimer.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Claire Gilmour is held off by Rachel Johnson
(middle) Danni Ritson and Amber Walker in a chase for the ball
(bottom) Prince of Wales with the trophy
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