SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Didcot girls are national champs again

The victorious Didcot team celebrate at the Madejski

The victorious Didcot team celebrate at the Madejski

First published in Sport

DIDCOT Girls’ School’s footballers are the toast of Oxfordshire after being crowned national champions for the second successive year.

They lifted the English Schools’ FA Girls Under 14 PlayStation Schools’ Cup with a sparkling 5-2 win over Kibworth High School (Leicester) in the final at Reading’s Madejski Stadium yesterday.

The talented teenagers were following up their success of 12 months ago when they captured the under 13 crown with a 3-2 victory over Thomas Estley Community College (Leicestershire) at Chesterfield FC.

Mollie Dyer, who hit a hat-trick for Didcot last year, repeated her feat, with Freeleigh Parnell and captain Katie Miller also on target.

Team manager Leanne Walker said: “It is absolutely fantastic to play at a big stadium. We couldn’t be prouder of them.

“To win it last year and do it again is absolutely phenomenal for girls’ and women’s football in Oxfordshire.”

With the match kicking off at 9.30am as the first final on day two of the three-day schools’ festival at the Madejski, it was Didcot who were quickest out of the blocks.

Parnell opened the scoring early on, before Dyer scored a superb solo effort after 15 minutes.

Dyer made it 3-0, Kibworth hitting back with a long-range shot which beat keeper Molly Ripley. Didcot’s advantage was reduced further in the second half , but with Ally Paton and Maili Nugent shining in defence, they dug deep and Miller added goal No 4.

Fittingly, it was Dyer who sealed Didcot’s success by completing her hat-trick in the last five minutes.

She was named player of the match and received a PlayStation 4 games console from the sponsors.

“She is absolutely awesome,” added Walker.

“To score two hat-tricks in two national cup finals says it all.”

After being presented with the trophy on the pitch, the girls met Southampton and England star Jay Rodriguez, the guest of honour, in the players’ lounge and played on the PlayStation with him.

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