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Women's Football News
Just when there were those sceptics were beginning to write off women's football as a pastime, last Sunday's match at the Ballacloan Stadium, Ramsey, Isle of Man, represented everything that was good about football and why it will always continue to inspire and fascinate - whatever the level!
Castletown were victors, beating Ramsey 4-2, the fixture was played out in a friendly, competitive manner that had the Ramsey faithful entertained and their larynxes strained from cheering their team on.
After failing to find the net in last week's match against Peel, it only took three minutes for the Castletown to find the net. Pressing their opponents, Sarah Denny crossed from the left, Kylie Whitehouse applied the killer touch from close range. Sparking Ramsey into life, they used their potent weapon of Emma Cottier's pace, twice she got behind the defensive line, on one occasion she was denied by Quayle's shins after coming face-to-face with the goalkeeper. This was the last action from Ramsey's markswoman, the goalscoring responsibilities being thrust upon midfielder Kealey Hawthorne's shoulders.
Castletown were keen to exploit this situation, Denny, on more than one occasion dropping back and spreading play, twice she was denied by an adroit Qualtrough, twice she curled shots wide as the southerners could have extended their margin by half time. But the visitors were playing a high defensive line, Hawthorne harangued and jostled her markers repeatedly to exploit the vast space with her quick feet, latching onto piercing through balls, on one occasion chipping an effort straight at Lisa Quayle's clutches.
It was no surprise when, with three minutes played in the second half, Castletown made it 2-0. Denny, playing in a more advanced position, single handedly created and finished this goal, exploiting space on the left, she got the better of Charlotte Rae before placing her shot across goal. But the visitors did not learn the lessons of the danger imposed from playing a high defensive line, twice Hawthorne raced clear and her predatory instinct deserted her but it was third time lucky on 57 minutes. Following a deflection from a southern defender, she accelerated clear before firing her shot which spun off Quayle's palms and into the net, which was met with cheers from the northern faithful. But it only took three minutes for Castletown to restore their two goal cushion. A free kick was conceded 30 yards out, Denny launched her setpiece straight on target, passing through Qualtrough's palms and into the net.
Thirteen minutes later, Castletown got their fourth with another excellent goal. Picking up the ball halfway into their opponents half, Denny waltzed and side stepped her way through the Ramsey defence before steadying herself to drive another home another angled shot.
Ramsey never gave up with Rebecca Colquitt, playing her first game back in a blue and white shirt since the Under-16s rule, pushed further forward giving the tireless Hawthorne much needed support in the attack and on 76 minutes, they lessened their deficit. Hawthorne again was involved in the thick of action, she worked a clever one-two with Sophie Watson before sweeping home her second. Both teams continued to battle and never gave up and once the whistle had blown, in terms of entertainment, no-one walked away from Ballacloan disappointed.
Another team that is pushing for the fourth placed spot is Gymnasium. They dispatched Michael Utd with a 4-0 victory at Balleira Road. Suzie Maiden opened the scoring with a strike on the edge of the penalty area and she added her second from close before the interval. With Michael Utd showing the same gritty determination as in previous weeks, frustrating their opponents, Maiden completed her hat-trick with a drive from 18 yards. Island international Dawn Quinn completed the scoring for Mark Reid's side with a tap-in.
Photo - Castletown's Sarah Jackson (left) battles it out against Hannah Thompson of Ramsey
(Report and photo - Paul Hatton)
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