02 Jul The girls shine as we see six new Pitchero Aces Nationals champions
The girls teams played through heat and wind this weekend to give us six Pitchero Aces Nationals champions, some new and some recognisable, who all deserved to lift their trophies.
One of the recognisable teams was Washington GU17’s, who after winning their sixth Pitchero Aces Nationals title, will retire as the most successful team in the tournament’s history to date.
Let’s start on Saturday, with three age groups blessing the Riverside at Nottingham – the GU12, GU14 and GU16 girls.
The two finalists, Essex and Cambridge, finished first and second respectively in the same group in the morning; their group fixture ending with Essex beating Cambridge 3-1. The GU12 final finished the polar opposite however, with Cambridge lifting the trophy against the very good Essex team with a 1-0 win in the hot conditions mid-afternoon.
The GU14’s saw Haringey from North London dominate throughout the day, topping their group with 13 points, winning both their quarter and semi-final by two goals and lifting the title in a fantastic 3-0 win against Rotherham. Rotherham played valiantly all day, finishing second in their group and beating one of the day’s best teams, Preston, in their Semi-final.
The GU16’s was settled by a single goal in the final with London Bees finishing off a great Liverpool team, Crosby Stuart, by a single goal in open play. London Bees were clinical in front of goal all day, often only needing one chance to win a game. This, coupled with their strength at the back, proved key for them as they defended one goal leads throughout the knockout stage. More impressively however, they won the tournament without conceding a single goal all day.
Moving on to Sunday, the three girl’s groups who played here were the GU13’s, GU15’s and the GU17’s.
Blackpool lifted the GU13 trophy after going all day without conceding and scoring two or more on five occasions. They won their final by three penalties to two against a well drilled Sunderland team that fought to the bitter end and became this year’s first northern champions. Interestingly Blackpool Girls were the first ever girls trophy winners back in 2011 and hadn’t been back since! Let’s see you back next year defending your title.
The GU15’s saw the midlands prevail with Derby beating Birmingham on penalties, three to two. The Derby girls played strongly throughout the day and their only stumbling block was in the shape of Oxford in the quarter finals who took The Rams to penalties – which Derby won 4-3.
Finally, the last game of the day took place in the late afternoon, five-time winners Washington played the GU17 Derby team for silverware.
Washington are a team we are familiar with; they play amazing football with real style and power and it seems this final was meant to be with them retiring with a sixth and final Pitchero Aces National title, making them the most successful team in our history. Washington scored two great goals against Derby, sealing this famous victory.
Congratulations to all the teams who played over the last weekend, whether you won, lost or drew, you played in the 2019 Pitchero ACES Nationals.