School Sport: Barking Abbey girls are English Schools’ champions
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:56 23 March 2017
Barking Abbey 4 Durham Sixth Form 0
Barking Abbey girls’ football academy made history when they were crowned English Schools’ under-18 champions following victory over Durham Sixth Form at Notts County’s Meadow Lane ground.
Durham had the best chance early on, but Abbey captain Aysha Bentick made a goalline clearance to deny them.
Goalkeeper Ellie Bowman recovered the ball from a similar attack on 18 minutes and played it out quickly to Lucy Barnes, whose forward pass found Anais Reynolds to produce a fine finish for the first goal of the game.
Bowman was called upon to make a low save on the half-hour mark, as Durham continued to press, and tipped another effort over the crossbar on 37 minutes from a free-kick.
Abbey then launched their own attack as a neat through ball from Imogen Bennett found Reynolds, who was denied by the Durham keeper.
It was 2-0 just two minutes into the second half, though, as Klesha Darroux drove inside and then found Maisie Ryan, who teed up Kaydee King from eight yards.
Darroux made a crucial block at the other end two minutes later from a Durham corner, before Abbey’s Bennett hit the crossbar from long range.
Bowman made the save of the game from a Durham counter-attack, tipped a shot onto a post, before Abbey replaced Sindi Kanto with Morgan Duffield on 65 minutes.
Abbey netted their third goal on 79 minutes when Reynolds directed King’s corner to Anele Komani, who converted from close range, and capped a fine day with a fourth a minute from time when player of the match Darroux’s centre was turned home by King.
Viviane Osukanu, Rosie Chapman and Alexis Hobbs replaced Ryan, Komani and Reynolds in the closing stages and Sharon Brownlie, head of the girls’ academy programme, said: “Reaching the final is a first for our school and it will be a day that we will never forget.
“The scoreline in a way doesn’t reflect how close the game was at times. Credit to Durham who contributed towards a fantastic final. Our players were a real credit to our football programme and to our school, as were our incredible supporters.”
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