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Women's Football News
The 17th Umbro Women's tournament was curtailed by the weather forecast on Sunday after a glorious Saturday gave way to a predicted prolonged downpour.
The tournament organisers decided to cancel the three knockout rounds in all the competitions and reduce the final group matches to 15 minutes each way. Ironically, the rain had stopped by 12.20 when the decisive match in Elite 1 Group A kicked off.
Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday contested the showdown, the Owls having been prolific in attack and Rovers defence yet to concede. Wednesday only needed a draw to clinch the title on goal difference and, in a fierce contest, two fine Danni Maslin saves kept the Owls on course.
"We are all massively pleased with all the players over the weekend," said Wednesday manager Dan Duke afterwards. "After some very promising signs through early pre-season and the result last week, we went into this tournament full of confidence. We have a very strong squad this year with the new girls coming in and offering what we didn't have, which is now fully backed up by a great coaching and backroom staff. We are geared up for the coming year which we have high hopes for and are laying foundations for being one of the most respected and successful women's side in the country."
Glasgow City had no problems in seeing off four Premier League Northern Division teams in Elite 1 Group B, which they hope will be good preparation for their European adventures this week.
In Elite 2, the reserves of Manchester City and Liverpool topped leagues containing Northern and Midland Combination and Scottish teams. Group winners of the other sections were Whitley Bay, Tynecastle Ladies, Brazil and the GB Deaf squad.
There were twice as many winners as in previous years but the need to protect the pitches at the Manchester University Sports Ground with a week of tournaments ahead prevailed, which was disappointing after a compelling Saturday 's competition at all levels.
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