BUCS Mars Women’s football final took place yesterday at Selhurst Park, the home of Championship club Crystal Palace. Loughborough firsts saw off a Hertfordshire University team packed with international experience 4-0, with fresher Amber Hughes scoring a hat-trick.
It was Loughborough who went in at the break the happier, following a cagey first half, they led 1-0. It took a cracker from Amber Hughes, who rolled the defender on the edge of the area and drilled the ball home past Hertfordshire’s helpless goalkeeper to break the deadlock, but Hertfordshire could easily have drawn level on the stroke of half time heading wide from just a couple of yards out.
Having missed a host of chances in the second half, Loughborough finally took the game by the scruff of the neck and in a frenzied 20 minute period, three quick fire goals put Loughborough into an unassailable lead.
Hughes dropped her shoulder, wrong footed the defender and fired back across the keeper into the top corner for a classy second. The inspired introduction of Avilla Bergin brought about the third, following several minutes of pressure on the Loughborough defence.
The ball was pumped forward and over the Hertfordshire back four, Bergin’s chase meant she had time to chest the ball down and slot coolly past the onrushing keeper. Hughes finished off her stunning hat trick with a superb finish from a tight angle after latching onto a rebound from her own shot.
Matt Magee in first season as team manager, lead Loughborough to BUCS glory with the help of Coach Mike Williams, Magee commented, “I am feeling ecstatic, the girls hard work throughout the season, including the 7am starts has definitely paid off. I’m glad the girl’s big day ended with gold. I’d also like to say a massive thanks to the travelling support; they came all the way down and didn’t stop singing all day.”