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Third time lucky for Larkhall
 Women's Football News 10 May 2013
 
Third time lucky for Larkhall - 10 May 2013 - Women's Football News

 
Larkhall Athletic can finally call themselves South West League Champions following two near misses in each of the last two seasons. 
 
One each occasion they finished as runners-up on goal difference, firstly to Keynsham Town Development and then to Exeter City, but this time around they have gone one better and carried off the title by a margin of three points.
 
The battle for the title shaped up to be a two-horse race almost from the start with the Larks involved in a straight battle with Bristol Ladies Union, the two sides quickly pulling away from their rivals. A good run in the F.A.Women's Cup, which included a win over Union in the Third Round Qualifying, meant that Larkhall fell behind their rivals but always possessed games in hand.
 
Larkhall won all of their opening twelve matches, including a run of nine consecutive clean sheets, before a 2-1 defeat to Weymouth may have made doubts resurface once again. However the Dorset side went on to beat Bristol Ladies Union the following week, meaning the Larks held the advantage when the two title contenders prepared to meet twice in five days.
 
Two tense goalless draws finally left Larkhall in a position where only a miracle could now prevent them finishing as Champions and they made sure by beating Bridgwater Town 9-0 in the final game.
 
Larkhall's squad is an experienced one and includes a number of players who have previously played in the National Division. Kelly Cripps has played in two F.A.Women's Cup semi finals with Bristol Rovers and also played top flight football along with fellow squad members Carly Bryant, Michelle Munro, Lizzie Barratt and Jo Johnson-Taylor who all appeared for Bristol City.
 
Kate German ended the season as leading scorer and at the other end, Natasha Miller and Amy Scrivens were key performers in defence. Carly Symons and Anna Walby both had good seasons in midfield as did two of the club's longer serving players, Charlene Rooney and Emily Harrington.
 
However the club's success this season may mean the most to its two longest servants, captain Sophie Hamer and goalkeeper Nicki O'Connell, who only conceded six goals in the league all season.
 
Larkhall can now look forward to Combination League football next season, for the first time since 2000 when they last played there under their former name of Bath City, and it is a challenge that the players are already relishing.

 
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