Success for the U12 Girls in the sunshine
A week after narrowly finishing runners up in our own festival the under 12 girls won the Risborough Rangers 6-a-side football Tournament on Sunday. Once again we took the brave decision to split the squad into two equal teams of six which left us “down to
the bare bones” with no substitutes for injuries or tiredness but ensured that all the girls got plenty of playing time. Despite some evidence of late night sleepovers and viewing of Britain’s Got Talent, both teams made terrific starts. A clean sheet from Katie enabled the Penn & Tylers Whites to draw their opening match with Blackstone Arrows before a goal from Megan and a fantastic save from Bex earned a win over Risborough Rangers.
The Penn & Tylers Blues started with a win over Gateway Emeralds after Lisa’s cool finish at the back post and drew with Vale Reds. The question amongst the Penn support was whether both teams could progress to the semi-finals, with nerves on the touchline more apparent than those on the pitch. The Blues went on to win the all Penn & Tylers clash in the third game and remained unbeaten to top the league stage with three wins and two draws, whilst to the delight of the travelling support the Whites also progressed thanks to stout defending led by Lara and Rosie and a well taken goal from Kitty which earned a vital score draw against Gateway Emeralds.
The fantastic news was that we had two teams in the semi-finals; the frustrating news was that they had to play one another in what, aside from being the coach’s nightmare, proved to be a very competitive contest which was decided by two goals from pocket dynamo Izzie. The Blues were forced to make a tactical change for the final against Vale Reds as Lisa had pulled a muscle in her leg and swapped with the excellent Sophia in goal. However, the girls were now right on their game and fully deserved their 1-0 victory with Izzy and goal scorer Izzie spelling double trouble up front, Rhiannon full of running and combative in midfield and Amber and Sophia defending superbly.
The girls had also performed brilliantly the week before at the Penn Festival as the Penn & Tylers Angels won three matches to finish second in the league stage and lost a very close final 1-0 to Bucks County Cup winners Marlow United. The team were led superbly by Lara who was partnered by tough tackling Rosie in defence, Sophia in goal with the potent goal threat coming from Megan (3), Bex (2) and Izzy (2). In a similar manner to this weekend it was only a narrow defeat to the Angels which prevented the other Penn team, the Belles progressing to the final despite an excellent overall performance with Kate covering every blade of grass in support of goal scorers Lisa (6) and Kitty (1). Rhiannon and Niamh were as reliable as ever in deeper positions whilst Amber belied her relative inexperience in defence.
It is weekends like the last two which make all those cold Monday night training sessions worthwhile and full credit must go to the full squad of 14 girls who have represented the club with such energy, commitment and skill. Big thanks to Lara, Kate, Megan and Rhiannon for captaining and organising the teams so well and making my job on the days that much easier!
It must however be admitted that the coach was left with a red face after under estimating the strength of the early morning sunshine this Sunday.
Report by David Lawson