By Geren Scapens and Tobias Hunt
UNIVERSITY of South Wales secured their place in the next round of the Western Conference Cup after coming from behind to defeat Cardiff Metropolitan 5th in extra-time at the USW Sport Park.
Tied at 39-39 in regular time, USW pulled away in the extra period to claim a five-point margin of victory over their local rivals, with outstanding performances from attackers Abigail Meredith and Megan Jones.
In a tight opening first quarter USW scored twice to take an early lead with a brace from Abigail Meredith.
Cardiff Met were undeterred by USW’s fine start and grew as the quarter went on, pulling it back to 3-3 with the goals being shared between captain Emeli Voaden and Ria Smith.
USW gained confidence again when they scored three unanswered goals through Abigail Meredith who notched all her team’s goals in the first quarter.
Once again Cardiff Met replied quickly through their attack force of Voaden and Smith, who ended the quarter with and five and four goals respectively. The second quarter ended with the score 8-9 after Meredith netted her eighth of the match for USW.
Megan Jones was introduced by USW as a Goal Shooter for the second quarter who increased her side’s tempo by scoring five goals in this quarter. The quality of Voaden and Smith tolled as the half went on as the pair scored four unanswered goals between them, stretching their lead to seven. The half ended with the pair scoring 11 apiece.
USW pulled goals back late in the half through Jones and Meredith. Meredith had the last say in the half when she netted late with her 14th of the match to provide a slender lead for the visitors.
As play resumed for the third quarter, it became game became a tense affair as momentum began to change. After the gap had narrowed just before half time.
USW fought back with a four-point swing to lead 28-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Megan Jones starred in the third quarter scoring eight of the nine points scored for the Treforst based side. It was a fast end-to-end affair with the play not slowing down and neither side seemed to be able to break away.
USW keeping the game alive after trailing in the first quarter after an early slip behind in the fourth quarter which saw the game enter into extra-time.
Extra time was not as tight, in particular the first half. Met were shut out in the first period of extra time as USW scoring seven without reply.
A second-half comeback was attempted by the visitors but they were thwarted by a sturdy USW defence who stood strong to preserve their early lead.
The game then ended 49-44 to the hosts with a prolific day in front of goal for Abigail Meredith and Megan Jones.