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Women's Football News
This year's North Riding FA Cup Final will see York City take on Middlesbrough in a repeat of last year's final, which 'Boro went on to win 3-0.
This year, both sides have also accepted an "off the pitch" challenge too, in order to increase awareness of the women's game and look to raise interest in the final. The challenge will see the school or organisation with the highest number of supporters at the game get a visit from their winning team.
Middlesbrough reached the final by beating Fishburn Park (10-0) and Kader (6-0). Fellow finalists York made it through with a 3-0 win over Guisborough Town and a 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough Lionesses. It's hoped that the game on Sunday Stokesley will match the excitement of last year's final.
MFC Ladies striker Nicky Duckling said: "This challenge is a great idea as both teams want to get the best possible atmosphere at the game. We love seeing new and old faces in the crowd. Ideas like this to get more people to the game are great because we really do feel the support for the team on the pitch.
"Playing in a cup final is a great achievement and there's no doubt that we will be looking for a similar kind of result as last year."
York City Ladies' Sara Renfrew agreed: "We have had a great cup run this season and we're looking forward to meeting Boro again in the final.
"If we can get a few new fans down for the final and hopefully build upon that next season it can only benefit the side. Women's football is on the increase and we both want to do all we can to help."
The fixture will also be a Respect event with Teesside and North Yorkshire Girls Centre of Excellence Under-11s representing their teams as ball girls, mascots and flag bearers for North Riding County FA.
Jennie Bennett, Respect Lead Officer for North Riding FA, said: "Respect is an important factor of every fixture and it's fantastic to see the commitment that our Junior teams have for the Respect programme which helps keep football fair and safe for all."
MFC Ladies this season have achieved high profile sponsorship this season from fellow MFC's keeper Jason Steele, Comedian Patrick Monahan and Boro Born former British Tennis Doubles number one Sarah Borwell.
Patrick Monahan was able to wish his sponsored MFC Ladies player, Kenzie Parkes, "Good Luck" in person as the pair met as Patrick served up the tea and cakes at The Olde Young Tea Rooms in Middlesbrough (pictured). Patrick will be bringing his Cake Charmer tour to the town hall on Saturday 17th May.
Describing the show, Patrick said: "I seriously love cake. Some people like to wind down after a gig with a drink. I prefer a cup of tea and a slice of cake. So spending the morning helping out and surrounded by cake in a gorgeous little tea house like this is absolutely spot on.
"The tour's going great, the audiences have been lovely, but I can't wait to be back in 'Boro.
"The Town Hall was always something to look up to when I was growing up, so playing there is always extra special as far as I'm concerned."
MFC Ladies Kenzie Parkes last met Patrick in January when the comedian enjoyed a kick-around at Middlesbrough FC's Riverside Stadium.
"It's great to see Pat again, he's even ran the London Marathon since last time we met!" she laughed. "We have been preparing well for the North Riding Final at the weekend against York and we are expecting a great game.
"We are also giving your school or organisation the chance to win a visit from the winning side simply by attending the game."
York are sponsored by Garforth Cobbler with MFC Ladies team sponsor this season being Wells Solutions.
It is hoped that the game on Sunday 27th April in Stokesley will match the excitement of last year's final, which 'Boro won with goals from Jasmine McNaught, Emily Scott and Sarah Manning, and Middlesbrough's club mascot Roary will also be there for pictures with fans too!
The Final takes takes on Sunday (2pm) at North Riding CFA, Fleet Lane, Broughton Road, Stokesley, Middlesbrough TS9 5NY. Tickets are priced at £2 for adults and £1 for children.
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