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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 17:01 UK

New Girls strike gold in Nottingham

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New Girls on the Block lived up to their name by winning the women's Your Game title in remarkable circumstances.

Many of the women who helped the team beat Score for Sport 3-2 in a close final had only met on the day.

Spurred on by a pep-talk from manager Delaney Fifield in the minibus on the way over from Northampton, the team kept their noses in front thanks to two fine goals from Cassie Whelan.

Becki Gordon also chipped in during her player-of-the-match performance.

Following the women's final, Nottingham Positive Futures comfortably beat Bobbers Mill 5-2 in the men's competition proving boss Adhi Scott has his finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to local talent.

Last year, Scott helped guide another team - PF Unity - to victory where they ended as runners-up in the Your Game national final.

And it looked like his current crop could make a similar impression after a impressive display at the Southglade Leisure Centre.

They will be joined by Fair Play winners Wragby Girls and REMA FC on May 19 at the national final at Birmingham City's stadium.

606: DEBATE

In truth, Nottingham PF's victory was made easier after runners-up Bobbers Mill came through a marathon semi-final against Sycamore Gold which went to sudden-death penalties.

But with captain Nick Murray emerging as the foundation on which the other players could flourish, they will pose a real threat at this year's final at St Andrews.

"The freedom with which my team played helped them to win the competition because I'm sure they've scored the most goals," Scott said after the final whistle.

"Thanks for bringing Your Game down again this year, I hope we can do something better in the final this time."

While success in the East Midlands was a second helping for Scott and some of his men, the first taste for New Girls on the Block was even sweeter.

Gordon said: "I'm overwhelmed, it's like we've like won the World Cup or something."

Star defender Hannah Cave added: "We've hardly played together - we've only met these girls this morning and we've just come in and absolutely bowled them over."

Notts County's Michael Johnson hands a winner's medal to Nick Murray
Winning tournaments like this and going to St Andrews pushes teams like these to the forefront of things

Notts County's Michael Johnson

Leeds and England star Sue Smith was on stage to hand out the medals and having attended last year was impressed by how the event had grown.

"I think it's been fantastic, like last year there are some great players," she said. "There's more women's teams than last time and hopefully it will keep progressing year-by-year."

Notts County's Michael Johnson, who was born in the city, said the event could be a spur for players who might not otherwise receive exposure on a local or national scale.

"It's nice to see some of talent in Nottingham that has gone unnoticed," he said after handing out the winning trophy.

"Winning tournaments like this and going to St Andrews pushes teams like these to the forefront of things.

"I think it's a brilliant concept. Everybody is working together under the same roof, working towards whatever it is what they want to achieve whether it's as a DJ or a footballer.

"It's good to get teams together and get them off the streets. Hopefully one or two of them will make friends and get a better relationship going on outside the venue. So its win, win no matter which way you look at it."

Your Game is a partnership between the BBC and the Football Foundation which offers young people from under-served communities the chance to get involved in football, music and the media.



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see also
Your Game Nottingham in pictures
03 Apr 08 |  Your Game
'A day to make Nottingham proud'
04 Apr 08 |  Your Game
Portsea dominate Your Game kick-off
21 Mar 08 |  Your Game
Johnson sure of County survival
04 Apr 08 |  Notts County
PF Unity dominate in Nottingham
28 May 07 |  Your Game


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