U16 Girls

Blackburn & Darwen 2-0 Burnley FC Women

U16 Girls County Youth Cup Final, sponsored by Sprint Print. Report by Jake Hartley-Moore (UCLan)

It was Blackburn and Darwen Girls who lifted the U16s County Cup Youth Trophy after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Burnley FC Women.

A quick fire double in the first half was enough for Blackburn and Darwen to edge the East Lancashire Derby.

It was a frantic start at the County Ground as the home side started the brighter with forward ,Ellie Probert latching on to an over the top through ball only for her driven strike to be pushed away by Burnley keeper Denika Connolly inside the first four minutes.

Blackburn and Darwen continued to press the Burnley back line and nearly took the lead in stunning fashion just after ten minutes. Midfielder Olivia Black was found in acres of space on the edge of the Burnley Box and her spectacular effort from 25 yards crashed off the bar. However ten minutes later they were rewarded for all their early pressure with a brilliant finish.

Ellie Probert collected the ball on the edge of the box, showed great close control, before lobbing a helpless Connolly from 20 yards out. The game had barely restarted before Blackburn and Darwen were celebrating again as Katie Higham found herself unmarked in the penalty area from a corner and needed no invitation to head expertly into the bottom left corner. As half time approached the game was brought to an unfortunate halt. Burnley forward Francesca Musso was on the bad end of a collision which was later revealed to have resulted in an head, neck and shoulder injury. As she was stretchered off, both sides and the full stadium were in full applause for the youngster.

In the second half chances came far and few for both sides, but Burnley were the most threatening and came close just before the hour mark. A driving run by Ellie Stuart allowed her to backpedal the defence, before picking out forward Grace Turner who swivelled her marker only for her curling effort to go wide off the far post. Burnley continued to press and shortly after some great defending by captain Beth Kerr, Turner was denied another chance to half the deficit. As she raced through on goal, Meg Tracey showed great determination to get across her box and make a last ditch tackle.

We would like to send our best wishes here at the Lancashire FA to Francesca Musso and wish her a speedy recovery.

Blackburn and Darwen Girls: Hughes, Kerr, Betty, Bennison, Higham, Black, Pimm, Tracey, Eastwood, Tracey, Probert

Subs: Benson, Goodman, Hobson, Oates

Burnley FC Women: Connolly, Hutchinson, Bristow, Dawson, Wilson, Johnstone, Stuart, Campbell, Horsfield, Turner, Musso

Subs: Lambert, Horan, Fildes, Day Officials

Referee: Taylor Metcalf

Assistant Referees: Phillip Grindrod & Clive Wilson

Fourth Official: Victor Evans