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Birmingham Challenge Cup Final Report | Wolves 4-4 Rugby Borough (3-4 pens) | First women’s team | News

Wolves 4 (George 49, Morphet pen 84, Wilson 89, J. Cross 90+6) Rugby Borough 4 (Greenslade 11, 73, Whipp 45+4, Potts 90+2)

Wolves Women fell to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Rugby Borough in the Birmingham Challenge Cup final at the Pirelli Stadium despite a dramatic comeback in normal time.

Borough found themselves in front in the 11th minute after a nervous start from Old Gold when Lily Greenslade headed into the far corner. Lee Burch’s side made their possession count just before the break and doubled their lead through Lucy Whipp who converted from close range.

The second half took a topsy-turvy turn as Old Gold pulled a goal back within four minutes after a wonder strike from Tammi George. With 20 minutes remaining Greenslade got his second of the night but Wolves won a penalty with just over five minutes remaining and Anna Morphet scored from the spot. Wolves leveled minutes later when Ellie Wilson smashed home from close range.

In dramatic fashion, Rugby Borough got a fourth in added time through Nicky Potts, but Wolves did not relent as they found their fourth and final goal in the sixth minute of added time in a goal line tussle, which Jade Cross managed to do. poke in to send the tie to penalties. And Rugby prevailed in the penalty shoot-out, scoring all four of their spot-kicks to lift the trophy and deny Wolves a third-straight crowd.

Rugby Borough started the brighter of the two teams, Yasmin Mosby receiving a ball in the box before taking a touch and firing a low, powerful shot into the bottom corner in the opening five minutes, but Bec Thomas was on hand to remove the danger.

Old Gold’s first try of the night came a few minutes later when Liv Fergusson collected a cross and drove towards the box before passing to Amber Hughes whose shot went just wide.

Borough took the lead after just 10 minutes when they worked the ball well before Greenslade was brought into the box and slotted into the far corner.

Wolves were pushing for an equalizer and Beth Merrick found herself in acres of space and attempted an audacious effort from range which Erin Foley could only parry for a corner.

Alanah Mann took the ball just inside Wolves just after the half-hour mark and attempted a long-range shot that cleared everyone but Thomas tipped over the bar.

Just before the break, Wolves came close to equalizing when Merrick sent a low cross across the box which found its way to the feet of Beth Roberts, but her effort flew over the bar.

In added time Rugby Borough doubled their lead when Mosby broke down the right and sent a low cross to Whipp in the heart of the box who powered the ball into the bottom corner.

At halftime | Wolves 0-2 Rugby Borough

Wolves made the perfect start to the second half and pulled a goal back inside the first four minutes through George, who lifted the ball high before unleashing a rocket of a shot from outside the box which curled into the top corner.

Old Gold kept the pressure on their opponents and came close to leveling just before the hour mark when Merrick curled a teasing corner into the middle of the area for Morphet to rise highest but her effort went wide over the bar.

Borough found their third of the night with just under 20 minutes remaining when Ebony Wiseman played through Greenslade into the box for the striker to tuck neatly into the far corner.

Wolves were awarded a penalty with just under 10 remaining as Wilson was fouled in the box following a corner, then Morphet rose to the spot and converted to give Dan McNamara’s side hope.

And Old Gold’s fightback didn’t stop there as Merrick lifted a cross to the front post in the final minute of regulation time and Wilson raced onto the ball to head home the equaliser.

In another twist, Rugby Borough then thought they had found the decisive goal in the second minute of extra time when Potts found the back of the net after driving a low ball into the far corner.

But Wolves didn’t give up and for the third time they found another equalizer four minutes later. The move came from a free-kick when Wilson’s header was blocked on the line, but after a blocked attempt by Hughes and a goal-line scramble, the ball was headed in by substitute J. Cross.

There was a long delay minutes after Old Gold’s equaliser, as George was involved in a nasty collision before being stretchered off with a head injury.

The game then went to a penalty shoot-out which Wolves took first and converted through Morphet but unfortunately went down to defeat after two misses with Rugby Borough converting all four as they went on to lift the Challenge Cup.

Full-time | Wolves 4-4 Rugby Borough (Rugby win 4-3 on penalties)

PENALTIES

Wolves | Morphet (scores), Bramford (rate), Hughes (scores), Johnson (scores), Merrick (save).

Rugby Borough | Camwell (scores), Curwood-Wagner (scores), Wiseman (scores), Whipp (scores).

teams

Wolves | Thomas, Wilson, Morphet, George (Hiscox 90+22), Hughes, Holmes (J. Cross 66), Johnson, Fergusson (E. Cross 90+1), Roberts (Fryer 85), Bramford, Merrick.

Unused subs | Marriott.

Rugby Borough | Foley, Mann, Morris (Curwood-Wagner 69), Nixon, Greenslade (Camwell 86), Wiseman, Potts (Malone 90+4), Whipp, Morris, Robert, Mosby (Wallace 69).

Unused subs | Walking frame.

Report by Jordan Preece