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Royals are crowned

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This summer, the world's best women's footballers will compete for the European Championships, dreaming of winning the tournament at Wembley in July.

For the girls of Thatcham and Newbury Royals Under-11s, the biggest game of the summer took place this weekend at Ascot United FC.

The Royals won the Berkshire County Girls League Cup, beating Thatcham Tornadoes on penalties.

Royals crowned champions
Royals crowned champions

The Tornadoes took the lead thanks to a fine finish from Daisy Burgess.

Just before half time, the Royals won a free kick in a good position.

Captain Sophie Matias scored with a strike that England's Alex Greenwood would've been proud of.

Lifting the trophy
Lifting the trophy

The teams paused for half time with the scores level, and it was over to Royals coaches Rich Matias and Ben Britter to deliver a rousing team talk.

Neither side could find a winner in the second half and, as the tension reached fever pitch, the game went to penalties.

Captain Sophie Matias was first up for Thatcham and Newbury and she showed no signs of nerves as she slotted her spot kick away calmly.


Freya Lansdown stepped up for Tornadoes and scored her penalty to level things up.

Layla Lunnon was next up for the Royals, she made no mistake to put Thatcham and Newbury 2-1 up.

Lunnon's penalty capped an impressive performance - she was awarded player of the match.

When Tornadoes missed the next penalty, Isla Skelton had the chance to win it.

Skelton tucked her penalty away and Thatcham and Newbury Royals were crowned champions.

It was an impressive team effort from the Royals.

Congratulations to: Beth Marshman, Geri Drangazhov, Lottie Baily, Eva Mahoney, Sophie Matias, Layla Lunnon, Rosie Britter, Amelia Brunsden, Charlotte Williams, Mia Sayer and Isla Skelton.

The girls won't rest on their laurels - who knows, one of these days we might see them at Wembley.

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