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Hemel Hempstead Town's pacey forward line proved to be the difference as they scored all of the goals between them in their 7-2 victory over Flamingoes in the Russell Cup Final.
The two teams had won their respective divisions going into the match but it was Hemel Hempstead who seized the initiative in the opening minutes and took the lead in the fourth minute through a 25-yard strike from Nat McConville. Natalie Adams then doubled their advantage as she latched onto a chip from Hannah Masters to finish from close range.
Adams scored her second as she outpaced the Flamingoes defence from a Natalie Cole pass and McConville completed her double before Flamingoes reduced the arrears through TsiTsi Muchenje shortly before half time.
After the break, Flamingoes gave themselves hope as Tawana Cushnie pulled a goal back with a close range header and they pressed for another strike with Sherelle Walters firing a shot just over. However Hemel stood firm, with Natasha Townsend impressing in defence, and they were to restore their three-goal advantage as Northern Ireland youth international McConville made a dangerous run into the area and her shot struck the post, but Nashina Mohamed was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Things got worse for luckless Flamingoes as injuries reduced them to nine players and Hemel capitalised with two late goals. Steph Cripps slid the ball into the path of Adams who duly completed her hat-trick and Mohamed grabbed her second, forcing the ball home atfer Chrissy Grant-France had made saves from McConville and Adams.
Hemel Hempstead: Sasha Tucker, Gemma Darvill, Natalie Cole, Natalie Adams, Hannah Masters, Olivia Smith, Charlene Turturici, Natasha Townsend, Steph Cripps, Nat McConville, Nashina Mohamed. Subs: Steffany Cowell, Emma Freeman, Kate Townley, Katie Phillipson.
Flamingoes: Chrissy Grant-France, Alison Mensah, Hayley Dodds, Tonia Vassell, Jo Whittington, Sherelle Walters, Ifrah Ahmed, Domonique Matthews, Tawana Cushnie, TsiTsi Muchenje, Blessing Bramiah. Subs: Tracey Wellington, Adele Mustapha.
Photo - Hemel Hempstead's hat-trick striker Natalie Adams (right) takes on Domonique Matthews of Flamingoes.
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