YOUTH overcame experience and league standing in the quarter-final of the Aquarius Devon Women’s Supplementary County Cup on Sunday.

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A young side from Barnstaple progressed into the last four with a 2-0 win at local rivals Bideford.

After being beaten by Bideford in the Devon Women’s League the previous week, Barnstaple dusted themselves down to claim a memorable win with second-half goals by Harriet Macey and Hayley Reed.

Bideford, who were without a couple of key players, created most of the chances in a scrappy first half, albeit mostly from distance.

The deadlock was finally broken by Macey, who ran the ball home from just inside the Bideford half, leaving Kirsty Talbot stranded.

Bideford kept plugging away without success but Reed wrapped up the win for Barnstaple, tapping in at the far post after a mix-up in the box.

Barnstaple, largely made up of last season’s Devon Under-16 Cup winning side, haven’t conceded a goal in this year’s competition, progressing through the opening rounds with wins against West Exe Ladies and Budleigh Bicton Robins.

All but four of the players in the team are aged 16, and all but three have come through the girls’ North Devon League in the past five years.

After deciding to bypass the under 18s league the girls are finding life tough in the Devon Women’s League with just one league win from eight, but coach and manager Dennis Hassan says they are up for the challenge.

He said: “Both teams battled hard in the first half but the goals gave this young team the belief to hold their heads and book a place in the county cup semi-final.

“This group of ladies have already won the Devon Cup last year and were county cup semi-finalists in the previous two years – let’s hope the Barnstaple cup run can continue.”

Barnstaple Ladies are also celebrating the receipt of a brand new strip thanks to funds from the Barnstaple Rotary charity shop in Boutport Street.

Mr Hassan said: “The whole team would like to thank Tony Freeman and the Rotary Clubs for their support and hope in the future we can positively promote Rotary and all the good causes it helps.”

See page 104 for a team picture.

Keeley does the ‘trick for Ilfracombe

DEVON Women’s League leaders Ilfracombe Ladies went six points clear at the top of the Division One table with a non-nonsense 8-2 win at home to Brixham Villa on Sunday.

The 2-1 half-time scoreline suggested little of the goal-fest to come but the hosts made the ball do the talking during a free-flowing second half of football on a sticky Marlborough Park pitch.

Keeley Coates hit a hat-trick, Leanne Robb scored two and there were singles for Marie Worby, Emma Jones and Sarah Dennis before the final whistle.

Coach Kevin Tarrant said: “It was a very good game. The Brixham keeper played really well, making four or five outstanding reflex saves; there could have been a lot more goals for us.”

Ilfracombe are without a game next week, while second-place Bideford are at home to Tavistock and Barnstaple travel to Brixham Villa.


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