Bedfordshire 2-2 Essex (after extra time, Essex won 4-3 on penalties), Saturday 27th May 2017, Kick-Off 1:00pm, Rowley Park, South-East England Schools Under 16s Victoria Dodds Trophy Final.
ESSEX Schools’ Under 16s Girls side won the South-East England Schools’ Victoria Dodds Trophy for the eighth time following a thrilling 4-3 win against Bedfordshire Schools at St Neots Town FC.
Goals from Kelly Wealthall and Yasmin Cowley took the tie all the way to penalties where Essex triumphed to add to their previous wins in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. They started strongly, with Tilly Deacon and Courtney Parsons enjoying an influence on the tie before Bromfords’ Wealthall handed her county a deserved lead.
Essex continued to enjoy the better of the first quarter of the game, but Bedfordshire began to settle into the contest and levelled mid-way through the first period after a lapse of concentration in the Essex rearguard. The goal gave Bedfordshire extra confidence and they went on to dominate the closing stages of the opening half, grabbing the lead before the interval and leaving Essex with much to do after the break.
But Essex re-grouped in the second half and a renewed confidence, Great Baddow’s Cowley swiftly levelling the scores at 2-2. The game continued to provide entertainment, but ultimately remained level at the end of 80 minutes, drifting into a penalty shootout.
Having been defeated in national finals on penalties in each of the previous two campaigns, Essex cast aside those memories, with goalkeeper Grace Staunton of Sacred Heart School saving twice to seal a 4-3 shootout win.
Essex: Grace Staunton (Sacred Heart), Lucy Edmeades (Shenfield High), Tilly Deacon (Fitzwimarc), Beau Parker (Barking & Dagenham College), Olivia Billson (Chelmer Valley), Maizi Garwood (Shenfield High), Kelly Wealthall (Bromfords), Lucy Egan (Philip Morant), Ellie Barra (Trinity Roman Catholic High), Yaz Cowley (Great Baddow High), Courtney Parsons (Caterham High), Holly Foley (Harris Academy Chafford Hundred), Hannah Smith (Plume Academy).