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Girls steal the show on Father's Day



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It may have been Father's Day but Sunday, June 19, was all about the girls at the weekend's Thatcham Tornadoes Tournament.

Girls between the ages of under-seven and under-14 competed for silverware and, of course, the love of the beautiful game.

Lots of the under-seven girls are just starting out in football – with all the skills on show, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were seasoned veterans.

Laurel Park Starz vs Thatcham Tornadoes Tigers, under-sevens
Laurel Park Starz vs Thatcham Tornadoes Tigers, under-sevens
Thatcham and Newbury Town Girls vs Cold Ash Wildcats, under-sevens
Thatcham and Newbury Town Girls vs Cold Ash Wildcats, under-sevens

There were no outright winners in the youngest age group but Thatcham Tornadoes Panthers were awarded the fair play award, voted for by the referees.

Shinfield Rangers v Thatcham Tornadoes Jaguars, under-sevens
Shinfield Rangers v Thatcham Tornadoes Jaguars, under-sevens
Shinfield Rangers v Thatcham Tornadoes Jaguars, under-sevens
Shinfield Rangers v Thatcham Tornadoes Jaguars, under-sevens

Thatcham Tornadoes Panthers were winners of the under-nine cup, beating Goring Robins in the final. Berks County Wildcats were winners of the plate, edging out Tilehurst Panthers Diamonds.

The under-11 cup final, between Thatcham Tornadoes Amber and Thatcham Tornadoes Lionesses, finished 0-0.

Rather than face a penalty shootout against their own teammates, the girls decided to share the spoils and were crowned joint winners.

Meanwhile, Thatcham Tornadoes Panthers won the under-11 plate ahead of runners-up Didcot Casuals.

Bracknell Athletic Rockette Neons beat Wargrave Women and Girls Warriors to win the under-12 cup.

Maidenhead were victorious in the under-13/14 cup after beating Thatcham Tornadoes Tigers.

The plate final, between Thatcham Tornadoes under-14 Lionesses and Thatcham Tornadoes under-13s, went to penalties.

Lionesses won the shootout 3-2 but both sides impressed with a series of nerveless penalties.

Thatcham Tornadoes Lionesses under-14s celebrate a goal
Thatcham Tornadoes Lionesses under-14s celebrate a goal

All the medals were presented by Mayor of Thatcham, Jeff Brooks.

Away from the pitch, Tornadoes were raising money for Ukrainian refugees settling in the area with their charity speedshot, which has raised more than £14000 since its conception. The record for the fastest shot has remained unbeaten for seven years.

The day wouldn't have been possible without all the organisers, officials and referees. Perhaps the standout performers were the volunteers who tirelessly barbecued hot dogs and burgers all day – who needs five substitutes?

Women's football is on the rise and, if this weekend is anything to go by, the future looks very bright indeed.



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