School Sport: Shenfield High girls edged out in National final
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 May 2016
Penalty proves decisive at Reading's Madejski Ground
Shenfield High School’s under-15 girls were edged out in heartbreaking fashion in their National Cup final at Reading this week.
Having dominated opponents in the earlier rounds, they got off to a positive start against Thomas Telford and scored from a well-worked set-piece as Shannan Drewe found Chloe Eastwell, and her searching cross was prodded home by Sophie Nyiro.
Thomas Telford hit back with a spell of pressure and, despite lots of hard work from Shenfield, drew level with a 30-yard strike into the top corner.
Shenfield rallied after the restart, with Eastwell going close to restoring their lead as she hit the crossbar from 25 yards.
Keeper Sophie Clark came off her line several times to deal with Thomas Telford attacks, while Maizi Garwood produced a string of tough tackles.
But with just 15 minutes left and Shenfield still on top, Thomas Telford were awarded a hotly disputed penalty for handball and converted from the spot.
Shellshocked Shenfield mounted a late challenge for an equaliser, but it would not come and they were left in tears at the final whistle.
Teacher Jamie Rigg said: “Shenfield’s most successful girls’ football team ever proved their professional and upstanding character by applauding their opposition throughout the ceremony.
“In such a close game the only consolation proved to be recognition as the better team, firstly through the player of the match honour being awarded to Sophie Nyiro, who was in turn awarded a PS4 by England captain Steph Houghton.
“Not content with this gesture, England’s leader then proceeded to chase down captain Maizi Garwood in order to recognise her incredible performance and captaincy by awarding her with a pair of boots.
“The reception toward the girls at the end of the game from coaches, peers and family alike proves how outstanding all players were on the day, with our National Cup runners-up making all involved incredibly proud as always.”