Suffolk's females create history

SUFFOLK Under-16 girls' team manager Ross Myhill believes his side have what it takes to go all the way in the Inter County Schools Cup.

Stuart Watson

SUFFOLK Under-16 girls' team manager Ross Myhill believes his side have what it takes to go all the way in the Inter County Schools Cup.

The county side will host Middlesex in the semi-finals of the national competition following a narrow 1-0 victory over Hampshire at Ipswich Wanderers' Humber Doucy Lane last week.

It is the furthest Suffolk's girls' under-16 side have ever progressed in the competition and Myhill, who has managed the side for the past three years, believes his squad has more than enough quality to push on and win it.

“We're very, very excited about going all the way in this competition. We've certainly got the ability to do so. There's strength throughout the squad of 20 players and I've got to say they have been a delight to work with.”

Having beaten Essex 4-2 and Hertfordshire 7-0 in the early stages of the competition, a 33rd minute goal from Thurston Community College's Sasha Diston was enough to seal progress against Hampshire in the quarter-finals.

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Suffolk had the better of the first half and could have been two or three goals up as Leigh-Ann Robe, Laura Thacker and Coral Young all went close.

Leading by Diston's goal, scored from Rebecca Hawkins' corner, the host saw out a scrappy second half contest in difficult conditions to book their place in the final four.

The majority of the Suffolk squad currently play at the Ipswich Town Centre of Excellence, while a handful play for Norwich United and Cambridge United.

A trio of the squad's players - Laura Bird, Laura Thacker and Leighanne Robe - were called up for an England Under-17 camp over the February half-term recently.

Suffolk, who have also beaten an Inner London side 3-0 in a friendly this season, are also due to play Middlesex in the final of the League Cup later this season.

Suffolk squad: Laura Bird (Kesgrave), Alice Diss (Hadleigh), Nicole Pannifer (St Albans), Sasha Diston (Thurston), Coral Young (East Bergholt), Laura Thacker (Benjamin Britten), Hannah Davies (Stowmarket), Jess Haighton (Orwell), Sian Fagg (Woodbridge), Leighanne Robe (County Upper), Rebecca Vaughan (Holbrook), Rebecca Hawkins (Leiston), Sian Ryan (Copleston), Emily Heaslip (Thurston), Abbie Marshall (County Upper), Saskia Walker (Stowupland). Unavailable: Amy Cook (St Albans), Aimee Harrison (Mildenhall), Jade Henry (Stoke), Chloe Mills (Sudbury).

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