School Sport: Shenfield High girls win Essex Cup ahead of National final

Shenfield High School's under-14 girls

Shenfield High School's under-14 girls - Credit: Archant

Shenfield High School’s under-14 girls’ football team are looking forward to a National Cup final next month.

The school has earned a reputation for success in recent years, reaching five National finals in the last four years, and the current season has seen three teams progress to showpiece fixtures.

The under-14 girls reached their semi-final after seven rounds of quite comfortable victories before they met a very spirited and organised Thomas Hardye side from Bournemouth.

Shenfield’s girls dominated the chances in normal time but solid defending and goalkeeping kept them out and led to two 10-minute periods of extra time.

The girls continued to play with exceptional skill and determination, creating plenty more chances, and finally a Shenfield free-kick was half cleared to the edge of the box and volleyed goalwards by Boo Mills for Ellie Moore to divert the ball home.

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Shenfield still had another half to survive against a battling Thomas Hardye side, but defended resolutely with keeper Maddison Griffin making one fine save to help seal their place in the final at Stoke City’s ground on May 9.

Ahead of their big date, the same squad took on Colchester’s Stanway School in the Essex Cup final and dominated the early exchanges.

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They took the lead on 15 minutes when Izzy Tomlin diverted in an Elise Jennings’ cross and Ellie Moore scored the pick of the goals with a 25-yard drive into the top corner.

Further goals from Moore, Jennings (3) and Yas Hassan (2) eased Shenfield to an emphatic 8-1 win and title of Essex champions to the delight of coach Garry Sapsford, who said: “The girls are an incredible group to work with. The disappointment of losing a National Final when they were in year seven has driven them on to bigger and better things.

“They work so hard in all of their sport in and outside of school and are brilliant role models to our under-13 girls and under-12 boys who have reached their respective National Finals this season. We have an exciting month of football to look forward to in May!”

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