April 1st 2022 County Cup winners.
A result that quite possibly eclipses the 2017 win against the same opposition, 2017 was a fantastic result, that team was flying lead by the terrific Wilkinson and Campbell up top with McTague fantastic at stopping them going in at the other end. Newcastle had finished rock bottom with a misley 7 points all season.
The 2022 version of the final was quite the opposite: Newcastle are top and Champions in waiting. Wallsend have struggled with injuries to key players all season and sit just above the relegation spots with safety far from guaranteed.
Wallsend lined up with Watson in goal, Kennedy (C) Sharp Rodda Orr, in defence. A midfield 3 of Dack C Dack N & Turnbull. Up top Ellison Jones Regan. Subs Mark Darling Travis Wilkinson Bailey.
The game started at a frantic pace with both teams battling to control the game. Wallsend defence pushed high a feature of the game, catching Newcastle offside on numerous occasions. The pace of Regan and Ellison was an effective weapon as Wallsend looked to turn the Newcastle defence towards their goal, Spurs (Jones) was immense all night, giving a master class in centre forward play. The midfield, a talented group, had to show a different side of their game as they battled, closed down and broke up everything in front of them.
The first chance of the game fell to Orr, her looping shot, not dropping quick enough and clearing the bar. Regan soon after got free of her defender but the opportunity was closed out. But Wallsend were not to be denied and some excellent pressure forced Newcastle into a mistake with a back pass evading the keeper and rolling into the net 1-0 Wallsend!
Newcastle pushed to get back into the game, but the midfield was imperious Nicole leading by example Courtney and Molly magnificent. Anything that did get through was snuffed out by the defence, Sharp and Rodda absolute rocks in the centre, Kennedy & Orr solid and composed.
The final minutes of the half saw a Regan effort which Donnelly saved well to keep her side in the game. Newcastle responded with a good chance of their own which landed on top of the bar.
The second half was going to be nervy, for the Wallsend spectators at least. Newcastle as expected start well but couldn’t fashion a clear cut chance, Wallsend midfield and defence not giving an inch the top 3 full of endeavour to release the pressure. Wallsend could have added a second Donnelly again thwarting Regan. Newcastle made change after change with 5 allowed in this final, but Wallsend stood firm every player playing at the top of their game. With 10 left it was a great contest Watson not really tested but her handling was assured when it needed to be, then it happened the magic that will go down in Wallsend BC Women history, the goal that ended the contest, confirmed the Cup was to be Wallsend’s. Regan bursting down the right her squared pass to Spurs in all but a yard of space, but it was enough as her first time strike, measured to perfection, curling away with pinpoint accuracy landed top corner. The bench erupted, they knew what it meant, the importance of the strike, the match winner.
Introductions to the game for Wilkinson, Travis and Mark added fresh legs as the minutes counted down, but took nothing away from the level of performance as they slotted straight into their respective rolls. Newcastle with nothing to lose tried everything to get a goal, a lifeline. But nothing was beating that back 4 tonight, even the 5 minutes added on was seen out with little excitement as the Wallsend players worked tirelessly to the last second.
Final word to the management team whom have had so much to contend with, with the centre half curse and injuries to so many key players. They’ve shown so much faith in this squad and at times its been difficult but they had the team set up fantastically, the team they chose, the tweak in style of play, it was brilliant to see everything work, everything they practised and trained so hard to achieve come to a head in this game. Well done all.
A fantastic team performance by the Women tonight. A deserved win, from front to back we were outstanding, the work to stop an impressive @NUFCWomen team who we respect hugely and hope they go on to win promotion. Tonight though it’s