Double-chasing girls lift the Challenge Cup

The victorious Ripley Town U16 Girls' team celebrate winning the Derbyshire Challenge Cup.
The victorious Ripley Town U16 Girls' team celebrate winning the Derbyshire Challenge Cup.

The golden girls of Ripley Town U16s successfully completed the first leg of what they will hope will be a memorable double.

Ripley beat Pride Park 3-0 in the final of the Derbyshire FA Challenge Cup, played at Matlock Town’s ground, and now they hope to add the Derbyshire League title too.

They took the lead with a well-taken goal from Jess Martin, who backheeled a cheeky shot past the ‘keeper, and kept their noses in front up to half-time.

Early in the second half, Ripley were indebted to goalkeeper Loren Kitching, who pulled off a terrific save to protect the lead. But from then on, they took control of the match.

On the hour, Sophie Bain doubled their advantage by scoring direct from a corner, and the victory was sealed with five minutes remaining when Martin pounced for her second goal of the game. In a brilliant run from the halfway-line, she held off two big defenders and thundered a tremendous strike past the advancing goalie.

The goal capped a superb team performance by Ripley, with everyone in the squad playing their part, showing skill, effort and determination.

It also continued a couple of years of excellent progress by the girls after winning both the league title and the Charity Shield last season.