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Rams Girls win Wembley Final

7 April 2013

Allestree Woodlands School were crowned queens of Wembley after beating Rainham School for Girls 2-1 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 draw in the npower Football League Girls Cup at Wembley.

Representing Derby County, Allestree Woodlands School sealed the win under the famous arch, beating Gillingham representatives Rainham School for Girls, with Bethany Naqwi scoring the decisive spot-kick.

"It's been a fantastic experience. We are in awe of the whole occasion," said a happy Louise Champion, the teacher who accompanied the Allestree Woodlands girls at the home of English football.

"The support the girls had here at Wembley was unbelievable and for them to have gone through the process to get where they are today, and win the competition, is magnificent.

"The best part for me, though, was being on the tour before the match and seeing all the girls - every single one of them - with smiles on their faces, and that's both teams. It's been such a privilege for us all."

A national six-a-side competition for girls aged 13 or under, the npower Girls Cup is designed to promote healthier lifestyles to children and engage with the next generation of stars.

Allestree Woodlands School and Rainham School for Girls battled through 10 rounds of local and regional tournaments to reach the competition's climax, which was staged prior to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final at the national stadium.

And despite Allestree's success in the shoot-out, either side could have taken the glory during the allotted 14 minutes of play.

In a quiet first-half, the opening chance of the match came for Rainham School for Girls when Charlotte Chaney shot wide from the edge of the area.

And Rainham started the second period well, but Miriael Taylor couldn't hit the target with a long-range effort.

Allestree were growing in confidence and twice came within inches of taking the lead through Bethany Naqwi.

The number three shot wide from inside the area on the first occasion, then struck the inside of the post with just minutes remaining.

With neither side managing to break the deadlock, it was down to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winners of the Girls Cup, and Allestree took the glory when Naqwi - a real threat throughout - fired home past Rainham goalkeeper Keisha Lemar to make it 2-1.

Derby County Community Coach, Sam Turner, said: "All the way through, from the local stages of the competition to the final, the girls have been brilliant.

"They have represented their school with pride, and have done fantastically well to win the competition."

Delivered by The Football League Trust and the community teams at all 72 clubs, this year nearly 700 schools from across the country took part in the Girls Cup, meaning over 5,000 girls participated at some stage of the competition.

Allestree Woodlands School representing Derby County: Rian Finney (GK), Tessa Maresca, Bethany Naqwi, Katie Topham, Hannah Naqwi, Lottie Read, Erin Crew (C), Elouise Thurman.

Rainham School for Girls representing Gillingham: Keisha Lemar (GK), Millie Waud (C), Charlie Hudson, Miriael Taylor, Hannah Tyler, Hollie Chapell, Eryn Killian, Charlotte Chaney.

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