Reading erased the memory of last year’s final defeat to Leicester by overcoming a stubborn Sutton Coldfield side, thanks to four goals from Helen Richardson and another from Elspeth Cockburn.
The Mighty Pinks started brightly and Sarah Ellis had to be alert to see off Laura Unsworth in the opening exchanges, pulling off a good double save.
Reading opened the scoring through Player of the Match, Helen Richardson. Samantha Quek found the Reading No.8 who slotted home despite losing her balance as she was about to shoot.
Cockburn doubled the lead after captain, Emma Thomas found her with a lovely pass into the D which the Scottish Star despatched with a clinical first time shot.
Gemma Boothby made a good run and found herself with just Ellis to beat, sliding the ball unselfishly to Sarah Mills who halved the deficit and gave the Sutton Fans hope.
Becky Batsford in the Pinks’ goal made a good save from a Thomas penalty corner, before Cockburn rattled the goalkeeper’s grill from close range.
Boothby squandered a glorious chance by somehow flicking wide before Unsworth ran all the way round the outside and found Jane Sixsmith who coolly finished making it 2-2 at the break.
Reading opened the second half on top as Kate Walsh latched onto a Richardson pass, only to shoot wide of the far post.
Ellis kept out Sixsmith at one end, and seconds later Richardson made it 3-2 with a lovely solo effort.
Susie Gilbert and Wiz Hunt were both unlucky with Batsford coming off her line well to make two good saves, but the pressure was starting to tell. Richardson scored her hat-trick with a low penalty corner flick and then with Sutton pushing to try and get back into the match, she beat the kicking back to make it 5-2 and give Reading the trophy.
Reading’s players embraced each other at the final whistle, having managed to go one better than their narrow defeat last year. A valiant effort by Sutton, but Reading’s and Richardson’s class was just too much on the day.