Leopards and Lynx off to flying start in Futures Cup

Futures Cup 2016

Futures Cup U16 Girls

Saxon Tigers 1 (1)
Olivia Wilde 34 (FG)

Wessex Leopards 4 (0)
Victoria McCabe 40, 53 (PC, PC)
Millie Atwell 41, 67 (FG, FG)

A superb second half showing from the Wessex Leopards fired them to a 4-1 win over Saxon Tigers in the opening Girls U16 match of the Futures Cup.

Saxon Tigers led at the break via an Olivia Wilde strike but second half doubles from Millie Atwell and Victoria McCabe turned the game on its head and took the win for the Sky Blues.

The first half was a very even affair with goalkeepers Gemma Woods and Mikayla Glover excelling themselves. Glover pulled off an outrageous stick save to deny Renee Ojikutu which was matched by Woods’ heroics to see off Darcy Bourne’s penalty corner.

Ruby Jarman showed some splendid defensive work to keep the Tigers at bay, mopping up their attacks and looking assured in the Wessex backline.

It looked like it would be all square at the interval but a lovely run and cross from Orissa Welsh was diverted in beautifully by Wild to break the deadlock.

It was all square just after the break. A goalmouth scramble was converted by McCabe from close range. Moments later Wessex got their noses in front with Atwell’s first giving her team the lead for the first time.

Rose Winter almost levelled it up with a fierce shot that flashed wide of the far post but then on 53 minutes Atwell touched in to make it 3-1. With three minutes to go and the Saxon Tigers pushing for a way back into the game McCabe put the result beyond doubt with a splendid defelction to make it 4-1.

Mercia Lynx 7 (2)
Lunjika Nyirenda 7, 59, 70 (FG, FG, FG)
Rowena Hearn 28, 57, (FG, FG)
Lorna Mackenzie 55 (PC)
Jessica Moricca 67 (FG)

Celtic Jaguars 0 (0)

A stunning hat-trick from Lunjika Nyirenda got Mercia Lynx off to a flying start in their opening Futures Cup match with the Celtic Jaguars. The Lynx No20 showed ice-cool temperament in front of goal, netting three times from open play in the 7th, 59th and 70th minutes.

Nyirenda opened the scoring with the first goal of this season’s tournament, tapping in from close range in the seventh minute. Both sides had chances to score the next goal with the Jaguars looking threatening on the break. Just before the interval Rowena Hearn bagged her first of the match to make it 2-0 to Mercia Lynx.

Louise Loughlin produced some inspired defending, clearing a shot off the line to prevent Jaguars falling further behind but in the 55th minute Lorna Mackenzie made it 3-0 with a lovely penalty corner. Two minutes later Hearn notched her second of the match and then in the 59th minute Nyirenda calmly slid home her team’s fifth.     

Jaguars went close after a brave interception and run from Tegan Waters but Erin Franklin did well to smother the chance. Jessica Moricca fired in a backhand with three minutes to play and with just seconds remaining Nyirenda tapped in goal number seven to complete a fine hat-trick.

All the live scores, fixtures and scorers for the Futures Cup can be found here.