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Rushen Utd brushed aside Colby 8-2 in the last of the group matches, and in doing so, have the enviable record of qualifying for the semis of the Floodlit Cup, the only club to do so since the inception of this competition.
Colby were their own worst enemies from the kick off, their nerves getting the better of them with Monika Gale fumbling twice and Rushen duly capitalised, opening the scoring after four minutes. Eleanor Gawne's corner kick was met by Donna Harrison at the far post, firing into the roof of the net from close range.
Rushen found the target from another set piece which was not dealt with, the ball broke to Kirsty Qualtrough whose first time shot went through a forest of players and made it 2-0. By now, the local twang of Paul "Smegs" Clague - who has recently joined the Colby management staff and well versed in southern battles during his time at Malew - filled the astro-turf, constantly giving orders from the sidelines, and it had a positive effect as Colby pulled a goal back midway through the first half. Charlotte Beard, against her former club, lifted a penalty over the bar but the kick had to be retaken and she made sure at the second attempt.
Rushen seemed to have lost their stride but Colby were dealt with a huge blow when inspirational defender Theresa Grainger withdrew through injury before half time. The Croit Lowey outfit capitalised on this, Eleanor Gawne feeding Donna Harrison to fire home their second.
Rushen then went on a scoring spree in second half. The same combination were involved to make it 4-1, Gawne squaring it to Harrison to complete her hat-trick. Soon it was 5-1, Gill Christian charged into space vacated by the Colby midfield and Harrison went around the Colby back line, latching onto Christian's pass before completing with a tidy finish. Christian then got her name on the scoresheet, finding space on the left where she unleashed a 25-yard effort when found the blind spot between Gale's upward stretch and the bar to make it 6-1. Colby were then awarded another penalty, Nikki Cooil duly dispatching before Harrison slotted home her fifth following a Gawne cross and completed a six-goal show following a cross shot from the right that finished in the top left corner.
Corinthians finished as winners of Group A following a 9-0 win over Laxey.After 16 minutes, Steph Hall's stooping header inside the six yard box made it 1-0 and a second goal followed just four minutes later, Anna Quayle struck an 18-yardeffort which the Laxey keeper could only palm into the roof of the net. Voirrey Holmes scored their third, firing into the bottom corner after a move involving Alison Breen and Sarah O'Reilly, before Leonie Roberts picked her spot to score their fourth.
After the restart, Helen Thomas dribbled past two defenders before placing a low shot into the far corner with Roberts unleashing a powerful strike into the top left corner to make it 6-0 moments later. Quayle stabbed home from close range at the second attempt, the eighth came from O'Reilly who cut inside and finished in style with a measured effort above the keeper's grasp, and Roberts completed her hat-trick and her 20th goal of the season, benefitting from Thomas' assist near the corner flag, resulting with a simple tap in from close range.
Douglas Royal also reached the semis after defeating Ramsey 6-0 at the Douglas NSC and finish as runners-up in Group A. The Whites had to wait until the 21stt minute via Donna Shimmin's through ball to Siobhan Lockwood who drove a low shot went past the advancing keeper. Bekki Cole claimed Royals' second and third, applying the definitive touch following crosses from Andrea Lace and Sammy MacDonald. Shimmin added the fourth in the second half when she was brought down in the area and coolly dispatched the resulting penalty. Lockwood got her brace after Shimmin's initial shot was well saved by Ramsey's goalkeeper but Lockwood was quickest to react and score from a yard out and she completed the scoring and her hat-trick when she rounded the keeper to make it 6-0.
Peel finished their Floodlit Cup campaign on a high after defeating their western rivals Michael Utd 4-1. However it wasn't going according to the script when the Balleira Road outfit scored first for only their second goal of the season. Jennie Davies' corner was half cleared into the path of Fiona Sellars to lob home from 25 yards. Erin Callister levelled matters following a melee to score against her former club. Vanessa Roberts struck home to make it 2-1 with Claudia Konig finding the net for their third and Emma Faulkner completing the scoring after a scramble.
(Report - Paul Hatton)
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