Bury Girls and Ladies FC First Team win the prestigious Skelmersdale National Women's Tournament.
A display of grit, determination and quality saw the young women of Bury claim the trophy on a wet day in Skelmersdale. With only 3 players over the age of 20 Bury had the youngest team in the Women's Open age bracket,and managed to come out on top overall against quality opposition from all over the country.
The tournament started well for Bury, with an opening 4-1 win over local rivals Little Lever Ladies. Goals from Jordon Bailey, Kristeen Ferenczi, Ellie Whittle and a penalty from captain Lucy Golding set the wheels in motion for a good day with a dominant opening performance. Bury then followed up with a tight 0-0 draw against Southpark from the North-East.
Two excellent finishes from Chelsea Weatherby and Kristeen Ferenczi saw the women beat Rhyl Ladies 2-0, and another battling performance and goal from Ferenczi saw them close out the group with a 1-0 victory over Ellesmere Port. Bury were through to the Semi-Finals topping their group with 3 wins and 1 draw.
The Semi-Final was against another good young team in Leek Town Ladies. With tired legs and injuries starting to build up, Bury still managed to play their possession game and dominate the ball. The all-important goal came half-way through the game, with another exquisite finish from Kristeen Ferenczi. A 1-0 win and on to the Final against Women's Premier League team Hull City Ladies.
Hull had finished 4th in the FA Women's Premier League this season, two divisions above Bury who play in the North-West Women's Regional League. Hull did not concede a single goal leading up to the Final of the tournament and had an England U21 international playing for them amongst other fantastic footballers.
Hull started like lightning, and Bury's legs were tired. It was backs to the wall, and Hull took an early lead to go up 1-0. Both starting centre-backs for Bury had been injured and were not playing in the Final. With a makeshift back 4, the girls dug in deep and defended like champions to keep the score at 1-0. Then, 4 minutes from time, a devastating counter-attack down the left led to a brilliant cross from Amy Thomasson and an acrobatic volley into the bottom corner from the superb Kristeen Ferenczi for her 5th goal of the tournament. The game finished 1-1 and went to penalties.
Jess Lockett, Lucy Golding, Kristeen Ferenczi and Amy Thomasson scored all 4 of Bury's penalties. Hull missed two and Bury became Champions of the Skelmersdale National Women's Tournament for the first time!
Head Coach Paul Iannaccone said ' These girls deserve every minute of this success. They worked so hard last season to develop and improve, and their attitudes and togetherness is fantastic. We want to create something special with this young group of players, and to beat a team like Hull City in the final is outstanding. Hull play in the Women's Premier League which is where we want to be in the next few years, and this is only the beginning for us. We are looking forward very much to the rest of pre-season and more success next season and in the future'