ROSS Juniors Women's team of teenagers gave a battling performance in the Herefordshire County Cup final at Edgar Street, but ultimately had to give second best to city slickers Hereford Women.

The hosts, who included seven ex-Juniors players and others who have played in the Welsh Premier League, finally ran out 5-1 winners, but not before Ross gave them a tough test in the club’s second successive final appearance under the Hereford FC floodlights.

The hosts forged a 4-0 lead in the first half, but Juniors, sponsored by 21Wellbeing, gave a much better account holding them to 1-1 in the second period.

The Bullettes started well when a cross to the back post left Sheree Smith free to slot home the opener.

Another corner saw Katy Huntbach head home past Ross keeper Imogen Stephen for 2-0.

And the third came just after the half-hour mark when Sheree Smith forced an own goal, before Sian Bull put the result beyond doubt right on the stroke of half-time.

But Juniors weren't going down without a fight, and put the Bullettes under severe pressure after the restart.

And they got their reward when they won a free-kick in a dangerous area, and Eva Flitney fired home to reduce the deficit.

Hereford hit back to force another goal through Smith, but it was a much improved second period from Juniors, who can take heart from another great cup run.

Sadly, keeper Immie, 16, who was "magnificent and brave' throughout was injured at the end of the game and spent the night in hospital before being released on crutches.

The Juniors final squad were Isabelle Clarke, Lauren Creed, Eva Flitney, Abbie Fuszard, Hollie Mace, Imogen Stephen, Holly Thomas, Macy Walker, Scarlett Wood, Cara Wright, Beatrise Zuka, Nelly Penny, Amy Riggs, Mica Walker and Ruby Wood.

A club spokesperson said: “We could not be prouder of the whole team who never give up and will only grow and benefit from playing such opponents.”

And they have another final to look forward to on home turf this Sunday (April 21), when they take on club mates Ross Ladies in The Ross Invitational Cup, kick-off 2pm.

Ross Women made their way to the final by beating Tupsley 9-1 in the quarters and Welland 6-1 in the semis.

The Ladies have had an equally impressive route to the final beating Hay St Mary’s 7-1 in the quarter-final and Westfields 11-1 in the semi final.

A Juniors spokesperson said: “The clubhouse will be open. Whatever the result there will be a Ross Juniors team winning it, and the game is going to be a fantastic advert for the strength of our female section.”

The Ladies warmed up for the final with two one-hour back-to-back games away at Hay last Sunday, drawing the first 1-1 and winning the second 6-0.

With some five players missing through injury and work commitments, the team knew it was going to be a tough afternoon.

And so it proved with Hay dictating play and dominating from the start and it was no surprise when they scored in the 25th minute with a fine strike.

It took a long time for Ross to settle down and they eventually did equalise with a goal from Danie Ward, which proved the final score.

After a short break the second game started and Ross were more dominant from the start, with Jess Brain scoring early on

.In the second half, Ross were in complete control as they scored three goals in the first 10 minutes, with goals from Jenii Harrison and Jess Brain notching her hat-trick.

More goals followed towards the end from Grace Semple and Danie Ward as the visitors tired.

And the win and the draw lifted the Kings Accountancy and Ross Health and Fitness-sponsored team to fourth in the Herefordshire Women’s League, two places behind Juniors Women.