Barking & Dagenham girls share Essex 7-a-side title
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 April 2019
Barking & Dagenham's under-11 girls' shared the Essex Schools' seven-a-side title with Thurrock at Robert Clack Leisure Centre.
Thurrock had won the event in 2017, while Barking & Dagenahm came out on top last year, and captains Demi Hetherington and Miquellah Meade lifted the tropy together after the two squads shared top spot.
Hetherington scored twice and Olivia Benson also struck as Thurrock Purple beat Thurrock Pink 3-0 in their opener.
Barking & Dagenahm saw Ruby Abela and Meade threaten against Chelmsford & Mid Essex Clarets, but Elishah Mintah-Adarkwah had to produce a last-ditch tackle at the other end.
Thurrock Purple then beat Chelmsford Yellow 1-0 with Darcie McGlenaghan’s excellent finish, before Barking & Dagenham saw off an improving Thurrock Pink.
Lily-Mae Elsey’s cross from the right found the net as Kaltrina Ibrahimi distracted the keeper, but Meade beat three defenders and fired wide while Abela was also off-target after a strong run.
Meade made it 2-0 late on, before the two Chelmsford sides battled to a 1-1 draw.
And that set up a showdown between the two previous winners, with Kirsten McNaughton at her best in defence to deny Thurrock Purple.
Meade and Ibrahimi caused problems at the other end, but the scoreline remained blank and Barking & Dagenham looked set for another goalless draw with Chelmsford Yellow when Meade fired homee to put her side top.
Thurrock Purple needed to beat Chelmsford Claret to win the title outright, but Benson and Hetherington were denied by a series of stunning saves as Poppy Farmer threatened on the break.
With seconds left, a handball on the edge of the box gave Thurrock a chance, but Hetherington’s free-kick was kept out by a fine save.
That meant Thurrock Purple and Barking & Dagenham both finished with eight points and shared the glory ahead of London Girls’ League action and the national nine-a-sides.
Barking & Dagenham: Mei Wang, Miquellah Meade (Henry Green), Kirsten McNaughton, Elishah-Oliviae Mintah Adarkwah (George Carey), Lily-Mae Elsey (Northbury), Kaltrina Ibrahimi (William Ford), Ruby Abela (Dororthy Barley).