The Brunel Cup
Cornwall Girls U16s 0 – 9 Devon Girls U16s
Played at Newquay Football Club, Mount Wise Newquay 02.04.2022
In this 4th leg match of the Brunel Cup series of matches between the two counties Devon were virtually out of sight within the first 20 minutes. Central striker and captain Ellie Sara (Bridgewater United)’s clinical finishing was rewarded with 4 goals giving Devon what seemed an unassailable half time advantage. So it proved as, in the second half, Devon added a further 5 goals without reply, Sara notching a second hat-trick to make her overall tally 7. The extras were added by Ruby Clark (Fremington) and Eden Hurst (MAP).
Cornwall kicked off but it soon became apparent that the Devon girls had more strength down the spine of their team. They went ahead in the 3rd minute, Taya Pomfret (Plymouth Marjon) driving through the midfield to blast in a 20 yard strike which Evie Thomas in the Cornwall goal did well to push away. Unfortunately for her the ball landed at the feet of Sara who made no mistake from 10 yards out. In the tenth minute Sara doubled Devon’s lead, her first attempt, a right foot shot from just inside the box, was well blocked by Thomas but she followed up to score with her left instead.
Cornwall started to get more into the game but found the Devon defence too well organised and it wasn’t long before Sara completed what proved to be her first hat-trick. In the 18th minute the ball bobbled awkwardly for Thomas, and there was Sara to punce and roll the ball into the empty net. Three nil to Devon and a minute later it was four as Devon’s custodian Olivia Giles (Plymstock United) threw the ball out to Jessica Smith (MAP) on the left who played a wonderful long ball in behind the Cornwall defence for Sara who made no mistake.
Devon almost made it a nap hand in the 28th minute, a fierce drive from Hurst drawing a good save from Thomas. Both teams had started to use the repeat substitute system and it appeared that Cornwall got stronger. In the 32nd minute they almost got a goal back Gracie Dixon forcing a great save from Giles. Four minutes later Gracie Perrings broke through one on one with the onrushing Giles but lost control at the vital moment.
With two minutes to go before half time Sara had a good chance to make it five but Thomas came out on top of the one on one and so the players went in at the brake with Devon leading 4- 0.
Cornwall made a number of changes at the interval, including changing the goalkeeper, Ellie Beesley coming in for Thomas. All to no avail however as, within two minutes of the restart Devon had added two more goals to the tally, Sara scoring her fifth before Eden Hurst joined in with a brilliant 30 yard lob. Cornwall had no real answer and by the hour mark Devon had amassed nine goals without response, Sara adding two more to her tally and Clark completing the scoring with a deft volley from a Hurst cross.
During the last 20 minutes Cornwall strove hard to get something from the game but were denied on three occasions by brilliant saves by Giles who seemed determined to keep a clean sheet. On all three occasions it was Perrins who suffered and so Devon draw level on points having gone into the game 2 – 1 down, the final score in this leg being Cornwall nil, Devon 9.
Star player – Ellie Sara (Devon)
Written by Dennis Smith
Devon County FA