Bays’ stunning hat-trick hands trophy to Bromley on a Plate

Kent FA Women’s Plate: Bromley 3 (Bays 3) Prince of Wales 1 (Wharfe)

The victorious Bromley team after winning the Kent FA Plate against Prince of Wales, Marxh 19 2015 (Photo: Kent FA)

Bromley overcame the disappointment of last year’s Plate final defeat to take the trophy against Prince of Wales (Photo: Kent FA)

Bromley avenged last season’s defeat in the Kent FA Women’s Plate with victory over Canterbury side Prince of Wales in a compelling match at the home of Chatham Town.

A fine hat-trick by captain Rebecca Bays put paid to Prince of Wales’ hopes of a possible league and cup double, but they emerged from last night’s defeat with great credit.

In fact, they had had the better of the play until Bays‘ stunning solo goal put Bromley ahead on 32 minutes.

She added a second just after half-time before Maria Wharfe pulled Prince of Wales back into the game with her own sensational effort 15 minutes from time.

But 10 minutes later Bays killed off any hopes of a comeback with an opportunist goal to secure her hat-trick and Bromley’s trophy following their chastening experience against Herne Bay in last year’s final.

While Bays understandably took the glory with her outstanding performance, the Greater London Division One side were also indebted to their goalkeeper, Kirsty Higginson, who denied Prince of Wales the lead when she saved from Caroline Rennie in the first half.

‘This is our year’

Bromley manager Steve Payne, who had endured the misery of seeing his side – then of Division Two – outclassed in last season’s final, savoured every moment of last night’s triumph.

He told the Kent FA’s website: “We know how the Prince of Wales feel tonight, and hopefully who knows? If they make the same progress that we did, they’ll be back next year.

“But this is our year, and we’re going to enjoy it.”

His opposite number, Mark Kerr, was left to rue Higginson’s save and an earlier incident in which Wharfe somehow hit the post from virtually on the byeline, only for the assistant referee to indicate the ball had gone out of play anyway.

He told Kent FA: “Maria had that incredible run up the goal-line in the first minute, and if we’d have repeated that, we may have had a chance. But Bromley played very well. They played some lovely football and are a well-organised side. I don’t mind losing to a good team, and we did that tonight.”

Kerr and his players can now focus solely on the league, where they are well-placed to clinch promotion from Division One East of the South East Counties Women’s League.

They are four points behind leaders Ashford but have two games in hand. On Sunday they host Faversham Elizabethans – the first of four home games in a row.

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