OCEAN City under-12 girls finished off a dream first season in competitive football by winning the Devon County Cup on Sunday at Coach Road.
Ocean City, who had already won their league, overcame city rivals Plymouth Phoenix 2-1 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 at the end of full-time.
The two sides produced a thrilling final that neither deserved to lose.
Both keepers – Ocean City’s Faith Walsh and Phoenix’s Isabelle Warburton – were excellent, while there was also some great defending on show.
During the season the two teams had finished first and second in the DJM Ocean Division, with title winners Ocean City bagging 60 goals in nine games and runners-up Phoenix 53. Both teams had the top two scorers in the division – Mia Dulling and Aaliyah Mcadam with 59 goals between them – but the sides could only manage one apiece in Sunday’s final, which shows just how competitive the showpiece event was.
Both keepers kept out good efforts in the opening 30 minutes before Ocean City’s influential striker Mcadam fired her side into the lead just before half-time.
But within four minutes of the second period, Phoenix pulled level with a goal from the player-of-the-match Kiesha Walker.
Both teams went looking for a winner but could not find one in an entertaining and nerve-wracking contest.
It meant the cup would be decided on a penalty shoot-out – where again the goalkeepers were tough to beat.
Each side had three efforts, with Walsh saving two and Warburton one. Both sides scored their first efforts but had their second ones saved. Walsh then saved Phoenix’s third spot-kick meaning it came down to Ocean’s Maisie Powell-Rider, who kept her cool to fire it into the net.
That led to scenes of joy from Ocean City, who secured a league and cup double and ended their debut campaign unbeaten.
The side are coached by former Plymouth Albion flanker Brett Stroud, who also coaches Plymouth Argaum RFC, and are managed by Shaun Jones.
Ocean City team: Faith Walsh, Emily Strachan, Kiera Cridge, Maisie Powell-Rider, Molly Stroud, Freya Weeks, Aaliyah Mcadam, Kiana Norcross, Keisha Povey.
Plymouth Phoenix: Isabelle Warburton, Holly May, Summer Douglas, Mia Jones, Kiesha Walker, Saskia Brisley, Mia Dulling, Imogen Huxtable, Regan Morris, Charlie Elson, Grace Lennox.
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