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Women/Girls

Hillier happy to add to incredible Hampshire Senior cup haul with Cherries

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Gemma Hillier expressed her delight at adding another Hampshire Women’s Senior Cup to her resume – her first as an AFC Bournemouth player.

The midfielder played a key role in captaining Steve Cuss’s side to a 3-1 victory over Southampton under-21s in the final, at Aldershot’s EBB Stadium on Monday.

Goals from Kenni Thompson, Lucy Cooper and Erin Bloomfield ensured the Cherries retained the crown they captured last season.

Hillier had previously won the cup on 16 occasions during her time with Portsmouth and was delighted to record a 17th success, having rejoined the Cherries last summer.

She told afcb.co.uk: “When I was younger, I was lucky enough to play adult football when I was 14.

“I played for Portsmouth at age 14 and that means I have been able to win it so many times. I’m now really fortunate to be given the opportunity with Bournemouth.

“We knew Southampton were a young side and they were going to have lots of energy. They were going to come at us, they were going to be very technical. We knew we didn’t want to force our play.

“We had to wait for them to get tired and I think the second-half performance proved that and we were really dominant.”

Cup success is a reward for a phenomenal campaign for the Cherries.

They went the entire Women’s National League Division One South campaign unbeaten, only to miss out on top spot and promotion on the final day after a 1-1 draw against title-winners Exeter City.

“It’s bittersweet. We were heartbroken about last week,” admitted Hillier.

“We knew we had to come out (on Monday) and give a performance, not just for ourselves and the fans but for the coaches as well to really prove we wanted to end the season strong.

“Our fanbase has grown massively this season and you can tell by the amount of fans that came on Monday.

“We are really grateful for the fans and hopefully they come again next season to watch us.

“We work our socks off both in an outside of training, so it’s now definitely a well-deserved break for us all. Then regroup and come back for pre-season in July.”

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