THEIR national cup final may have ended in defeat, but the under 13s girls footballers from Winsford Academy have had a season to savour.

The team, who have also been crowned Cheshire champions as part of a stellar campaign, travelled to The Hawthorns – home of West Bromwich Albion FC – to contest the Playstation English Schools cup final in their age group against Shenfield High School of Essex.

Up against a strong Shenfield outfit, the Winsford girls were beaten 2-1 despite pressing hard for a late equaliser after substitute Amber Griffin had pulled a goal back following a great run and assist by Esme Entwistle.

Rob Hopley – the former Winsford United and Witton Albion striker and current Winsford Town player/manager who helped coach the team – insisted he was proud of what the girls had accomplished.

“We lost to a great side – they had a couple of West Ham players and one is at Arsenal too so we were up against it,” he said.

“Shenfield were in four out of the five finals there yesterday and they won all four.

“It was an ubelievable experience for our girls though, playing in a stadium like that, and they kept going.

“We really piled on the pressure for the last few minutes but couldn’t force an equaliser unfortunately.

“Eris Davies was in superb form in goal to stop Shenfield many a time throughout the game.”

The players were able to meet Chloe Kelly – a key member of the England Lionesses side – as part of their day as the Manchester City forward was on hand to present medals to the competing sides.

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