IT started off as a rocky weekend for Newport Gwent Ladies first team who lost on penalty shootouts to Cardiff Met in the Women’s Welsh Shield Final, writes Holly Carlyle.

However, they soon put a stop to their unlucky streak when they beat Howardians Ladies first team 1-0 in the Welsh Cup Final the following day at Sophia Gardens.

It was quite a slow start to the game at first as the ball seemed to maintain its position in the middle of the pitch. But 15 minutes into the game, both teams began to put pressure on and Gwent’s Stevie Jones took the first shot of the game, followed by Rachel Hillier and Fleur Atkins.

Howardians showed good defence tactics and managed to take the ball into Newport’s half, claiming the first penalty corner of the match.

After 27 minutes of unsuccessful shots, Bethany Poultney finally took full advantage of an opportunity and scored the first goal of the match, making it 1-0 to Newport.

This goal seemed to have boosted Newport’s confidence as they claimed more opportunities and showed some terrific defending throughout the rest of the first half. Howardians stayed strong and the score remained 1-0 for the first half.

The break appeared to suit Howardians best as they took full possession of the ball after 5 minutes into the second half, claiming yet another penalty corner after 22 minutes. This was again saved by Newport’s goalkeeper, Isabelle Marsh.

Both Newport and Howardians continued to challenge each other through the second half. Although, Howardians might have been challenging a little too strong as Joanne Clarke got a green card for a bad challenge after 30 minutes.

Although the drama did not stop there as Newport’s Rachel Hillier came off the pitch 10 minutes later due to a head injury and time was stopped.

The game continued to be tense as people watched from the side lines as penalty corners were won and shots were taken. But, after a tough game and challenging year, Newport Ladies claimed the Welsh Cup as their own with the final score of 1-0.