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Women's Football News
This season in Manx football has witnessed the unpredictable and this is also reflective in the women's league when a resurgent Colby scaled the heights of fifth place in the league after defeating former Division Two winners Peel 1-0 at Douglas Road.
Considering that Peel are founder members of women's football nine years ago and that Colby are now playing their second competitive season after finishing third from bottom last campaign, this has to go down as the southerners' greatest result to date with Claire Scott scoring the all-important winner in the second half.
This was match reflective of two teams that played their football in last season's second tier - a lot of determination and commitment but lacking in technique. Peel came close to scoring first, Vanessa Roberts was found on the right bye line, her parallel pass found Kirsten Middleton and Gale cleared with her feet for what came close as an own goal.
Colby, however, started to make promising inroads from the start with Louise Corkish bossing the midfield and Scott providing a useful outlet on the left and, despite a period of sustained pressure, was met with some unconvincing finishing with Charlotte Beard and Alice Leadbeater slicing efforts wide, and Beard and Corkish firing tame shots at Dawson.
But Peel finished the first half with a flourish. Renee Micholaginiannis had a header blocked, Sarah McChesney lifted an effort onto the raised palms of Gale following a weaving run from Roberts and later on from 35 yards out, Peel were awarded a free kick. Roberts took responsibility, diverting her strike past the defensive wall with the Colby keeper pushing away the danger.
With only a minute played on the second half, Colby scored what proved to be the winner and will be talked about down Glen Road in years to come. Beard's pass on the left picked out Scott on the left, her dipping effort caught Dawson off guard before it flew in and nestled into the net.
From then on, clear cut chances still remained at a premium with both teams battling it out in midfield. Peel had the best chance in the second half and came close to equalising when Roberts played a through ball for McChesney putting her in the clear, only to steer her shot wide.
Rushen Utd maintained their championship ambitions with a 16-0 win over Laxey. Leading 5-0 at half time, Donna Harrison led the scoring, finding the net nine times, Eleanor Gawne (2), Tricia Fleming (2), Hannah Biggerstaff (2) and Rachael Mulligan were also on target for the southerners. After the match, Rushen Utd manager Roger Mulligan stood down after being seven years at the helm, having amassed nine trophies for the southern outfit.
The Floodlit Cup competition has also kicked off this season and saw the favourites, Corinthians defeat Ramsey 6-0. The first goal came after just three minutes, Sarah O'Reilly appearing down the left flank where her cross found Rachel Hutchinson who struck her shot firmly into the roof of the net. The lead was doubled when Anna Quayle's precision through ball found the feet of Leonie Roberts to fire into the bottom right corner.
Corinthians played much better in the second half and it was captain O'Reilly who struck a terrific shot from fully 30 yards to make it 3-0 on 50 minutes. Leonie Roberts got her second of the game on the hour mark and a minute later Jade Burden notched her 20th of the season to make it 5-0. Burden wrapped up the scoring and brought the tie to a close with two minutes remaining as she applied the final touch to the move of the match which also involved Sarah Morley and Helen Thomas.
Another of this year's favourites, Douglas Royal, clocked up the biggest result of this competition by defeating Castletown 9-1. Royals scored their first goal in the opening two minutes when Sammy MacDonald's excellent through ball down the right wing was chased down by Donna Shimmin whose first time shot beat Castletown keeper at the near post. Orna Lynch made it 2-0 when Bekki Cole's corner hit the bar and was bundled over the line. Cole cut in from the right wing to fire home number three and Shimmin returned the favour when she laid the ball off on the edge of the box for MacDonald to fire home. Lynch made it 5-0 when she got on the end of Shimmin's shot inside the area, while Siobhan Lockwood's pass found Shimmin who skipped past two defenders to finish well and make it 6-0 at the interval.
Shimmin then turned goal poacher to goalkeeper in the second half. With Sarah Denny playing at sweeper, she made a number of timely interceptions and clearances for the southerners although the Whites did find the net on three more occasions. Lockwood scored Royal's seventh after working a one-two with Kym Hicklin before Castletown pulled a goal back, Denny's free-kick on the left was met by Kylie Whitehouse who applied the decisive touch. MacDonald scored their eighth via a superb 25-yard speculative effort that flew into the top right hand corner before Lockwood completed the scoring, tapping home from close range after some good work from Kerri Williams on the left.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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