City secure the 2022/23 Adran Premier title
City Women were crowned Adran Premier champions following a 3-1 victory over The New Saints at Cardiff International Sports Campus on Sunday afternoon.
On a memorable day for the Bluebirds, Ffion Price’s opener was cancelled out by Beth Lewis, only for captain Siobhan Walsh’s brace to secure top spot in Wales’ top-flight for a second time in the Club’s history.
Head coach Iain Darbyshire named an unchanged starting XI after defeating Cardiff Metropolitan University last week, with a place on the bench for talented defender Hollie Smith, who returned from injury.
After an even start, City had a period of sustained pressure, creating a series of chances to take the lead. Bluebirds wing-back Danielle Green posed a huge threat on the left, winning a corner for City, which led to Megan Bowen’s header being cleared off the line. Just minutes later, Darbyshire’s side won a free-kick on the edge of the box, which Price struck towards goal, forcing goalkeeper Sarah Parkes into a save.
The visitors went close to an opener through Lucie Platt, whose long-range drive was well-saved by Ceryn Chamberlain. City broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, as Price found space on the right, with her effort looping over Parkes and into the net. The New Saints found an equaliser two minutes later through Beth Lewis, who headed in from close-range.
After the two sides went into the break level, City made a bright start to the second period, as Green cut inside from the left and fired wide of the post. In another attack, Rhianne Oakley drove into the box, but couldn’t quite find her strike partner Eliza Collie.
The Bluebirds were rewarded for their quick start to the second-half, regaining the lead in the 55th minute, as captain Walsh headed home for her 12th goal of the campaign. City immediately looked for a third goal and almost found it through Collie, who made a clever run into the box, before being denied by Parkes.
With 84 minutes on the clock, substitute Lily Billingham made a great impact, as she was brought down in the box, allowing Walsh to step up and make no mistake from the penalty spot. The skipper had a chance to net a hat-trick with another penalty five minutes later, as Billingham was brought down again, but fired narrowly wide of the post.
The final whistle went, ensuring the Bluebirds would be Champions of Wales for the second time!
After securing the title, City have two league fixtures remaining, with a trip to Cardiff Metropolitan University on 2 April, before hosting Swansea City Ladies on 9 April, where the Bluebirds will lift the Adran Premier trophy.
ADRAN PREMIER FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 3–1 THE NEW SAINTS
Cardiff City: Chamberlain, Price, Bowen, S Walsh ©, Power (Smith 89’), Green, Watkins, Pearce (Billingham 61), Broadhurst, Oakley (Atkins 66’), Collie (C Walsh 88’). Subs not used: Roberts.
The New Saints: Parkes, B Lewis © (Ashworth 84’), Samson, Teare, Platt, Evans, Gresham, Redding, L Lewis, Staley, Williams (Marshall 89’). Subs not used: Rubin, Rathe.