Cougars off the mark, Leopards into the final

wessex Leopards vs Pennine Puma U18 Futures Cup

Futures Cup Girls U18

Celtic Jaguars 2 (2)
Sarah-Jayne Thorburn 12 (PC)
Lauren Dunn 23 (PC)

Caledonian Cougars 3 (2)
Lexi Sabatelli 31, 32 (FG, FG)
Ella Watt 66 (FG)

Caledonian Cougars won the battle with the Celtic Jaguars in dramatic fashion as Ella Watt’s goal four minutes from the end clinched the three points and pushed the Cougars into the 3rd-4th playoff with Mercia Lynx tomorrow.

The game was end to end with both sides never letting up in attack, going from end to end in a great display of energy and commitment.

The Jaguars took the lead after 12 minutes. Sarah-Jayne Thorburn converted a penalty corner for her second goal of the competition. Things got even better 11 minutes later as Lauren Dunn double the lead, also from a penalty corner.

Undeterred, the Cougars hit back twice before the break. Lexi Sabatelli scored twice in a minute to bring the game all square at the break.

The pace did not change in the second half with both sides throwing everything at each other in search of the all important winner. It was looking like it was going to finish all square but with four minutes to go Watt showed the defence a clean pair of heels and despite a great effort from Gemma Pryce in goal the ball looped up and in to spark jubilant scenes for the Cougars.

Wessex Leopards 1 (0)
Millie Giglio 40 (FG)

Pennine Pumas 1 (1)
Rachel Greenwood 34 (FG)   

Wessex Leopards squeezed into the final of the U18 Girls’ Futures Cup, taking a hard-earned 1-1 draw from their clash with Pennine Pumas and in the process gaining the point they needed to overhaul the Mercia Lynx for a place in the final against the Saxon Tigers.

It was a closely fought game with much of the contest played out in the midfield as the team battled for control of the contest. With defences on top chances were hard to come by but in the 34th minute Rachel Greenwood made the most of her opportunity and put the Pennine Pumas ahead.

It stayed that way until five minutes after the break when Millie Giglio found the net to set up a tense second half. Both goalkeepers, Millie Regan and Jess Walsh excelled in keeping the scores level and with no way through the spoils were shared.

All the results, scorers and fixtures can be found here.