Wrexham AFC Women Under-19s were unable to pull off a shock in the Genero Adran U19s National Championship Final at Aberystwyth, as a strong second-half saw Cardiff to victory.
The Red Dragons had more than matched their opponents in the first-half, with Amber Lightfoot cancelling out Mikayla Cook’s early goal.
Siwan Williams missed a penalty just before half-time, that would have put Wrexham in front at the break too, but Cardiff’s experience told after the interval.
Cook scored twice more, and Eliza Collie also netted twice for the Bluebirds, while Abbie Bellis-Hollway pulled off a string of good saves to keep Wrexham in contention too.
The Wrexham goalkeeper was unfortunate to concede just two minutes in – saving well after a counter-attack, only for Cook to tap in the rebound.
Lightfoot nearly responded on five minutes, skipping inside only for her dipping shot to drop just over the bar.
Cardiff did not heed their warning, however, and the Genero Adran U19s North top scorer cut inside again on 12 minutes and this time buried her shot into the bottom corner.
Bellis-Hollway kept Wrexham level on the quarter-hour – the goalkeeper being caught off her line from a quick break but doing well to parry the attempted chip wide.
She saved well again on 27 minutes too, getting off her line quickly to close down the striker in the area. Wrexham conceded a free-kick as the ball was cleared, but again Bellis-Hollway saved.
Wrexham grew into the game, however, and on 29 minutes Lightfoot found Natasha Spearing on the edge of the area, but her right-footed shot was blocked.
Gracie-Mae Cotgrave then threaded a through ball to Lightfoot on 39 minutes, but this time the winger dragged her shot just wide.
Wrexham’s big chance came on 41 minutes, when Spearing won the ball high up the pitch and was tripped in the area, but Williams’ penalty was straight at the Cardiff keeper who stood up and saved.
Collie finished at close-range from a corner on 59 minutes, however, to put Cardiff in front and the Bluebirds’ experience and fitness began to tell.
Bellis-Hollway made fine saves on 63 minutes, parrying wide, and then on 68 minutes at point-blank range to keep Wrexham in the game.
But Collie’s second goal – a fine finish on the half-volley across goal – broke Wrexham’s resistance and opened the floodgates a little.
Cook headed in from a corner on 84 minutes and then completed her hat-trick after beating Bellis-Hollway to a crossfield ball – the final scoreline a touch harsh on Wrexham.
Line-up: Bellis-Hollway, Dunkerley, Clifton-Stringer, Jones, M.Roberts, Orme (Megan Jones 89), Cotgrave (Hardstaff), Harley (Maddie Jones), Spearing, Lightfoot (T.Roberts 89), S.Williams
Sub not used: Cudlip