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The Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy was lifted by New London Lionesses after a convincing 4-0 win in the opening match of the Greater London Women's Football League Finals day at Hampton & Richmond Borough FC.
The Division Three North champions always had the edge over a hard working London Bari, who had finished fourth in the same league. Both clubs had reached this final in the first season of their existence.
Joy Kurati twice went close to opening the scoring early on for the Lionesses but it was Laura Nero who gave them the lead on 25 minutes. Having already hit the near post with a corner, Nero then struck a deep inswinging effort beyond the defence and in off the far post.
Kurati was denied by Bari keeper Kimberly Horne and Rebecca Poulton hit the post from distance as the champions continued to dominate. The second goal also came from a corner with the ball eventually dropping to Ania Koscielska to score from close range just before the break.
The third goal came from fine work from Poulton on the left with gave Nish Patel a close range finish on 53 minutes. Poulton nearly added a fourth after a good run and cross from Kendal Drake.
London Bari's Laura Agnew was having a good match and her trademark long throw ins gave the Lionesses trouble. From one, Sabah Mahmood forced a good save from keeper Steph Blakey. However it was Nero who put the seal on the victory on 74 minutes. Kurati was fouled 30 yards from goal and Nero lofted a superb free kick into the top right corner.
There was just time for Bari keeper Horne to make a good save from Ellie Simborowska's low cross shot on 88 minutes before the whistle blew and New London Lionesses had completed a double triumph in their debut season.
New London Lionesses: Steph Blakey, Ania Koscielska, Laura Nero, Katherine Jessamine, Rebecca Poulton, Kendal Drake, Nish Patel, Ellie Simborowska, Joy Kurati, Mari Kroke, Olubusola Bintie. Subs: Alice Dainty, Aquilah Kani, Darby Lawrie, Elizabeth Peters.
London Bari: Kimberley Horne, Presh Christopher, Fiona Nash, Vanessa Lucas, Amanda Frew, Joanna Gomm, Petria Jobson, Laura Agnew, Sabah Mahmood, Paloma Medina, Danielle Gardiner. Sub: Magdelena Shiltagh.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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