County’s girls under-16 team denied final spot

NORTHUMBERLAND Under-16s girls missed out on a Inter County Cup final place after being betan 4-0 away to Lancashire in the semi-final.

The game, played at Squires Gate FC in Blackpool, was evenly matched until a defensive error gave Lancs an early lead.

North hit back when Rhiannon Castle put through Hannah Smith whose run into the box was halted by a timely tackle.

It was end-to-end and Smith was only denied by a last ditch tackle.

Home striker Danielle Cross threatened but Laura Powell bravely smothered the ball.

But North dominated the last five minutes with Smith shooting wide and then being foiled again by her shadow for the day, Olivia Millington, before a Megan Pyper corner was struck over the bar by Cramlington’s Jasmine Trundley (Cramlington).

Despite a bright start to the second period by North, it was Lancs who increased their lead.

Lancs tails were now up and the pressure soon paid off when a ball over the top caught the defence square and put Emily Hutton clean through and she made no mistake.

To their great credit, the Northumberland girls came back strongly for the final 20 minutes, led by Catherine Johnston, whose shot was saved by the keeper, followed by a Jenny Wilkes volley wide from the edge of the box and then Jasmine Trundley bursting into the area before a defensive challenge forced her to shoot over.

But the game ended on a low note for the visitors when a Lancs attack could not be cleared and a rebound off the luckless Georgia Thompson resulted in a fourth goal.

Northumberland can count themselves unlucky to lose by a four goal margin after a entertaining, competitive game.

The girls have represented the county with skill and determination and can be proud of their performances under the guidance of management team June Lomax and Michael Hutchinson, who bow out after making an invaluable contribution to the development of girls’ football in the area over the last five years.