Penrhyn Bay are narrowly beaten in final despite stunning Sophie treble

What a star. Sophie Rawling (right) celebrates a goal with team-mates Fleur Custance and Erin Doran. Picture: FAW

Penrhyn Bay 3 (Rawling 32, 38 & 70)
Barry Town United 4 (Pearce 5 & 55, Goode 25, Robinson 53)
FAW Under-16 Girls Welsh Cup Final

Not even a sensational hat-trick from Sophie Rawling was quite enough to save Penrhyn Bay from a gallant defeat in today’s FAW U-16 Welsh Girls Cup Final at Latham Park, Newtown.

Bay fought back from two down to level early in the second half, but two goals in as many minutes from Barry established a decisive winning lead.

When Rawling completed her treble with a third long range stunner it was too late to affect the result.

But it was a fantastic show from Penrhyn Bay, who were aiming to repeat their 2018-19 success in this competition.

On a grim afternoon weather wise, slack defending from the North Wales side cost them two goals in the opening 25 minutes.

With five minutes on the clock, Manon Pearce was left in the clear when she latched onto a ball over the Bay defence and finished smartly left-footed.

It was 2-0 when the blue and blacks failed to clear a corner and Gemma Goode was left with the straightforward task of slotting home from close range.

Penrhyn were capable of so much better and gave themselves hope when three minutes before half time, Wales Under-15 international Rawling found the net with a wonderful left-footed free kick from all of 30 yards.

And three minutes into the second half, Gareth Rawling’s side were right back in it when his daughter Sophie let fly from 25 yards and the ball got past keeper Sera Wade far too easily.

Fleur Custance (left) and Erin Dunkerley on defensive duty for Penrhyn Bay (blue and black). Picture: FAW

Suddenly it appeared Bay were favourites to go on and win the cup as they pressed for a third and Barry looked panicky.

Yet the South Walians rallied and two quick goals from substitute Gina Robinson and Pearce put them in command at 4-2 up with 15 minutes left.

Barry had other opportunities before Penrhyn battled back late on and in the final minute Rawling’s magnificent free kick from all of 35 yards arrowed into the net to set up a frantic finish.

Libby Rubin produced a good stop to deny Barry a fifth, but despite their best efforts to push for an equaliser, Bay ran out of time.

Penrhyn Bay line-up

1 Libby Rubin, 2 Fleur Custance (Millie Spencer 65), 3 Maddie Williams, 5 Polly Wild-Mcgregor (Alys Davies 59), 6 Erin Dunkerley, 7 Lara Cook (Christiana Perry 61), 8 Mia Roberts, 9 Sophie Rawling, 13 Erin Doran, 14 Erin Jones (Charlotte Allen 67), 15 Nel Metcalfe.

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