United girls fall at the fi­nal Dutch hur­dle

YOUTH FOOTBALL

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

DEN­HAM United U15s did su­perbly well to reach the fi­nal of the Holland Easter Open – but went down all guns blaz­ing to a Dutch side at the last hur­dle, writes Tim Street.

The event, a two-day in­ter­na­tional youth football tour­na­ment, at­tracted teams from all across Europe, and in the Den­ham girls’ age group, there were 20 teams com­pet­ing for the cup.

Den­ham got off to a flier, beat­ing Dutch teams JVC Cuijk 3-0 and SV Lopik 4-0, and Nor­we­gian side Snekker­sten 4-0, mean­ing they topped the group on max­i­mum points with­out con­ced­ing a goal.

They were also the only English side in their age group to qual­ify for the cup as MK Dons and Manch­ester Ladies could only fin­ish third in their re­spec­tive groups.

The sec­ond group stage saw Den­ham also fin­ish top, with 3-0 wins over Bluaw Geek, Naestved IF and JVC Cu­jik, to set up a fi­nal meet­ing with last year’s win­ners, FC Ste­doco.

Den­ham were at a dis­ad­van­tage, hav­ing been given only five min­utes rest be­tween their last group game and the fi­nal, but they gave it their all and, with time run­ning out, it looked like penal­ties would de­cide it.

But a lucky break saw their op­po­nents take the lead, and as Den­ham threw ev­ery­thing for­ward in search of an equaliser, the Dutch side grabbed their sec­ond with the last kick of the game to se­cure a 2-0 win.

Club press of­fi­cer Lisa Par­rett said: “The girls played the whole week­end with pas­sion, team­work and great at­ti­tudes and came away with their heads held high, as well as a run­ners-up tro­phy. We are proud of ev­ery one of them as no English club had ever got that far in that age group.”

The Den­ham girls were: Gra­cie Perkis, Kodi Spencer, An­nie Walsh, Chloe Smith, Char­lotte Par­rett, Katie Ak­er­man, Reanna Isaacs, Mad­die Vil­day, Alketa Rragami, Yas­min Gar­cia, Bro­gan Moore, Anaisa Har­ney and Kayleigh Cur­rivan.

Back at home, goals from Amy Hold­croft, Ni­amh Reynolds and Ni­cole Leys saw the U14s hold Spurs to a 3-3 draw, but the U11s lost to the same op­po­nents, de­spite a player of the match dis­play from keeper Char­lotte Gaffney.

The se­nior side also went down 3-2 to a last-gasp Crystal Palace win­ner. Mean­while, the club’s sum­mer tour­na­ment will run from May 28-30 this year. Call Jo Cur­rivan on 07919 032 532 or email dulfc@live.co.uk for more de­tails.

n EURO­PEAN AD­VEN­TURE: Den­ham United U15s

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