Eight Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer Schools (LOASS) Under-14 girls players were part of the Waltham Forest side which won the girls football tournament at the London Youth Games on Sunday.
The London borough of Waltham Forest emerged victorious in the football tournament by beating Hammersmith on penalties.
Unbeaten in the group phase, Waltham Forest progressed to the second phase with minimal fuss where the LOASS players representing the borough went head-to-head with teammate Lauren George, who was representing Hackney.
George scored two fine late goals for Hackney to send Waltham Forest to a surprise defeat. Despite that setback, Waltham Forest reached the quarter-finals, beating Camden 2-0 before advancing to the final with a 1-0 win over Sutton in the last four.
Hammersmith and Fulham lay in wait for Waltham Forest in the final, with a side boasting a number of Chelsea Ladies academy players in their starting line-up.
With the game delicately poised at 1-1 at the end of normal time – following a late leveller from Hammersmith and Fulham – penalties were required to settle the tie.
Striker Shawna Harvey donned the gloves for the shoot-out and made herself the hero by saving the first Hammersmith and Fulham spot-kick. Forward Aaliyah Boyea converted the winning penalty to land Waltham Forest their first win in the tournament for 12 years.
Speaking afterwards, head coach Joe Sheehan, said: “Competing and succeeding against 33 London boroughs that consisted of players representing the likes of Charlton, Brentford, Chelsea and Spurs during the regular season gives me great pleasure and shows the advances we have made not only as a club but as a borough team.
“To win a tournament in Europe’s biggest youth sports competition is an incredible achievement both for the Borough of Waltham Forest and also for LOASS FC girls.”
LOASS’ Under-11 girls side also tasted success on Sunday, winning the Island Girls tournament in Canvey Island.
Penalties were required to decide a winner once more, with LOASS overcoming hosts Canvey Island thanks to goalkeeper Jessie Burke.
Said Sheehan: “Through the hard work and determination of the LOASS FC family, the Under-11 girls could very well be the ones lifting aloft future Under-14’s London Youth Festival trophies. This is the next generation of players and they have some real positive role models to look up to in the Under-14 squad.”
The Under-11s return to tournament action on Sunday at the St Clere’s tournament in Essex.