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Women win Chairman's Cup in thrilling final

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

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A Chloe Tape hat-trick proved pivotal for AFC Bournemouth Women, who won the Chairman's Cup after a 5-4 victory over Moneyfields Ladies.

Emma Davis and Hannah Bennett also bagged for the Cherries, as they capped off a fine season with silverware. 

The side started brightly, with Women's player-of-the-season Meg Vella causing problems from the outset. Her ball across goal was just beyond an outstretching Rosie Eden, who couldn't quite get on the end of it in the opening stages. 

The Cherries continued to press, however, and were soon duly rewarded. 

With just under 20 minutes gone, the ball broke on the edge of the box for Davis, who hit a delightful first-time strike that flew into the top corner. 

The lead was almost doubled immediately thanks to some fine work from Maisy Smith. The right-back dribbled through the Moneyfields defence before unleashing a low shot, which was well saved by Sally-Ann Thompson. 

Up the other end of the pitch and the Cherries back-line were soon tested, Aimee Burridge making a superb last-ditch tackle to keep her side ahead. 

Nevertheless, the pressure paid off and Moneyfields soon struck to draw the scores level. Sophie Kingsley-Smith headed home after a ball into the box was met six-yards out. 

In an end-to-end affair, it was Steve Davies' side who looked to bounce back and they nearly did so through Eden. Tape stole the ball off the Moneyfields 'keeper before squaring to the forward, but she couldn't direct her shot on target from outside the box. 

Yet, the Cherries didn't hold back and Tape soon had something to show for her endless running. The midfielder latched onto a superb through ball from Sian Tilly to go one-on-one with the 'keeper, making no mistake and slotting home. 

Despite the goal coming late in the half, the teams were to go into the interval all square thanks to a 15-yard strike in time added on from Paige Seeley, who converted well past Katie Scadding.  

The Cherries failed to keep their heads down, though, as the women started quickly. A delightful pass from Eden set up the ever-impressive Tape, who did the rest and fired her shot past Thompson for her second of the afternoon. 

A fourth almost followed as Davies' side had some good chances, firstly Smith hitting the crossbar with her powerful header, before Tape couldn't quite make the most of Davis' square ball for what would've been her third. 

As Moneyfields found their way back into the game, their determination was rewarded and Seeley bagged her second of the afternoon to draw the scores level yet again, sending the ball over Scadding and into the back of the net for 3-3. 

However, their resurgence was short lived as the Cherries failed to be beaten. 

Rebecca Miles, who had seen plenty of the ball on the right-hand side, won it back following a Moneyfields free-kick, subsequently playing the ball across to Tape, who rounded the 'keeper and finished for a much-deserved hat-trick. 

And AFC Bournemouth certainly weren't finished there, as Bennett soon got in on the act to give some daylight between the two sides. A mistake from the Moneyfields shot-stopper saw the 27-year-old steal the ball and slot into an empty net for a fifth goal.  

Nevertheless, the drama kept on coming and the Portsmouth-based side refused to give up. With less than ten to go, Ciara Boylon struck inside the area to give Moneyfields a lifeline. 

It was one they nearly took advantage of too, the Cherries calling on Scadding in the dying stages to make two big saves to help her side to victory and a first ever Chairman's Cup.  

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