Tahnee Lucas of St George’s School scored a hat-trick to help Lancashire Under-14s into the semi-finals of the English Schools FA PlayStation Inter-County Trophy for Girls.
Her terrific treble helped the Red Rose team to beat Durham 4-1 in an exciting last-eight tie and move a step closer to defending their English title.
Lucas was one of three Blackpool schoolgirls in the county team, the others being Keisha Masterson of Montgomery High and Emily Slater of Fleetwood High School.
Lancashire are unbeaten in the competition since losing the 2012 final but did it the hard way in the north-east, where they conceded their first goal in this year’s competition after just 10 minutes.
They equalised on 20 minutes when a right-wing cross from Aimee Hodgson was headed in by Lucas from the penalty spot.
Lancashire went ahead midway through the second half, when Kaitlin Woodhead crossed from the left and the ball was knocked in at the second attempt by Grace Mills.
The game-changing moment came with eight minutes left, when Blackpool’s Masterson produced a goal-saving tackle as a Durham player prepared to shoot.
Sixty seconds later the ball went down the other end and Alyssa Mae-Aherne hit the crossbar with a thunderous shot, Lucas knocking in the rebound.
She added her third and her team’s fourth with virtually the last kick of the game.
The team is made up of girls from across Lancashire, including Emily Slater, who goes to Fleetwood High School. The semi-final is due to take place in February.
n Blackpool FC Girls Under-14s maintained their unbeaten record this season with a 6-0 win away to Crosby Stuart in Liverpool.
Both teams started strongly and battled hard, but it was Blackpool who broke the deadlock when Minnie Rogers took a Bradie Onions pass on the wing and fired a shot into the corner of the net.
Blackpool had several more chances but the Crosby keeper was in fine form and it remained 1-0 at half-time.
However, Blackpool dominated the second half as Isla Makepeace came off the bench and helped herself to a hat-trick.
Goals from Olivia Golden and player of the match Rogers completed the 6-0 win, leading the Crosby manager to compliment Blackpool on their passing and wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
The Under-13 match between the clubs was a far closer affair, Crosby taking the lead after 12 minutes. Blackpool stepped up the pace and passed nicely, resulting in an equaliser by Emily Slater.
Player of the match Natasha Hart kept the scores level with a fine block, while at the other end Blackpool were denied by some fine saves.
Crosby regained the lead after half-time and it looked like it wouldn’t be Blackpool’s day as a series of attempts to equalise struck the woodwork or went agonisingly wide.
But with minutes remaining, Slater found the bottom corner to secure a share of the spoils with her second goal.
Blackpool FC Girls U12s started the year with a dominant display and a 3-0 win away to Euxton West.