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Thurstable School Sports College completed the quadruple of major domestic college honours with a 2-0 victory over Oaklands College at Burton Albion FC in the BCS Elite National Cup Final.
Thurstable, partner of Colchester United's Academy, scored twice in the middle of the first half and contained Oaklands best efforts with a fine team display.
Oaklands started the match confidently, moving the ball around sweetly without ever creating a clear opening. Thurstable took some time to construct any attacks but their first real chance was converted, Hayley West forcing her way through the middle and tucking the ball away after a rebound off a save by Elizabeth Stanley.
It took the Essex side just five minutes to double the lead, player of the match Hannah Gowland breaking clear on the left and sliding a precise shot wide of Stanley on 33 minutes. Oaklands' Lauren Bruton was very unlucky with a 20-yard free kick which struck Helena Brodie's right hand post on 41 minutes, enabling Thurstable to go into the break with a two-goal lead .
Oaklands, linked to Arsenal's Academy and led by Laura Harvey, the Arsenal manager, pressed forward for the majority of the second half but were unable to break down an outstanding back four, backed up by a very hard working midfield unit. Thurstable relied largely on the power and pace of Gowland up front to threaten via counter attacks.
The game plan worked so well that Brodie's goal was never really threatened by the Oaklands attack. Indeed, Gowland nearly added a third, rounding Stanley but shooting into the side netting.
The fierce commitment of both sets of players led to a number of injuries and rolling substitutions but
after nearly ten minutes of additional time, Thurstable were able to celebrate the win and skipper Maegan Doyle lifted the BCS Elite Cup to complete an unprecedented set of honours for Thurstable School Sports College and Colchester United Academy.
Thurstable: Helena Brodie, Rebekah Henderson, Hayley West, Emily Heaslip, Sian Fagg, Megan Jiggins, Lily Mellors, Flo Gamby, Hannah Gowland, Maegan Doyle, Amy Nash, Sophie Blowers, Daisy Self, Alice Diss, Jo Ribet, Rosie Mellors, Louise Pritchard.
Oaklands: Elizabeth Stanley, Angharad James, Billie Murphy, Alex Hindwood, Emma Brownlie, Meaghan Seargant, Taylor O'Leary, Alexa Passingham, Lois Roche, Becky Anderson, Emily Thompson, Lauren Bruton, Lily Agg, Bianca Bragg.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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