LEEK Town girls under-12s have, frustratingly, had to settle for runners-up spot twice to their all-conquering rivals Stoke Town Ladies.
After conceding just four games out of 20 – three of them at Stoke – the Leek girls first finished well-deserved league runners- up.
A rain-drenched league cup tournament two weeks ago saw Leek give it their best in the final against Stoke.
The score was 1-1 at full-time, and despite a brilliant end-to-end period of extra time, the match had to be decided on penalties.
Leek goalkeeper Jenny Hesketth saved the first and fourth Stoke attempts, but conceded three to see her team cruelly lose 3-1 from the spot.
On Saturday, Leek gave a repeat performance of skill, determination and fair play only to finish runners-up to Stoke again; on this occasion, in the annual Sentinel Girls’ Festival of Football tournament, held at Stone Dominoes FC.
Leek were fired up from the start for their opening match against Stoke, and an impressive goal from Leek striker Laura Evans in the first half was enough to secure a victory.
The Leek girls second match against hosts Stone Dominoes was equally as exciting, and a superb shot from outside the area by Leek’s Kayleigh Sheldon, again in the first half, was enough to bag them a second victory.
Leek’s third game against Bradwell Bombers was really well-matched and ended in a goalless draw.
The final match of the heats saw Leek take on a strong Congleton Vale Juniors, whom they beat with second-half goals from Abbie Sanders and Ellie Salt to win their place in the final.
The match was a repeat of the previous week against Stoke and a draw at fulltime.
The period of extra time saw neither team ahead and it was down to Leek goalkeeper Hesketh in another penalty shootout.
Conceding three powerful shots from Stoke, and only bagging one themselves through Maddie Bragg, Leek were once again defeated 3-1 against their season rivals.
Leek: Maddie Bragg, Tasia Brough, Laura Evans , Jenny Hesketh, Ellie Salt, Abbie Sanders, Kaytie Scragg, Kayleigh Sheldon, Kiera Wells.