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Victoire Ladies 9 Alexandra Park 0
The opening match of the Greater London League Finals day pitted Division Three North champions Alexandra Park against Division Three South runners-up Victoire Ladies.
The Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy went south as Victoire crushed their opponents by nine goals without reply to win the competition in which they were losing finalists last year.
Having lost the league in a showdown with Greenhouse London just a week ago after heading the table for most of the season, Victoire were in no mood to let this match slip. After a reasonably even first half hour where they led by a single Jeanie Keable goal, Victoire added two more just before the break, then ran riot in the second half.
Alexandra Park keeper Kelly Canterford had already denied Keable with a fine save before her 19th minute opener from a Katie Jackson cross from the right. Sherelle Walters twice shot narrowly wide before Lucy Galea added the second on 43 minutes with a volley from a corner.
Another right wing corner was misjudged by the defence two minutes later to allow Nikki D'Aranjo a close range finish and give Victoire a three-goal interval lead.
Things just got worse for Alexandra Park on the restart. Louise Feeney added a fourth on 47 minutes, then Keable notched her second with a powerful finish four minutes later. Becky Payne nearly pulled a goal back but was denied by a fine save from Danielle Leacock.
Walters added the sixth after initially being denied by Canterford. Nailah Nisbeth scored the seventh on 69 minutes and Keable completed a hat-trick for the eighth four minutes later.
Alexandra Park kept pushing forward to claim a consolation in the closing minutes with Emily McLaughlin being denied by fine defensive work by Emily O'Neill and Beth Turrell also going close. However, the last word went to Keable with her fourth after Canterford had been injured making a save but play continued on 87 minutes.
Victoire were sharp in all that they did, perhaps a legacy of their recent title battle. Alexandra Park had the consolation of picking up their league winners medals but were very much runners-up on the day.
Victoire Ladies: Danielle Leacock, Emily O'Neill, Joanne Potter, Nicolle D'Aranjo, Amy Ridgley, Donna Osmond, Danielle De Souza, Lucy Galea, Katie Jackson, Sherelle Walters, Jeanie Keable. Subs: Louise Feeney, Nailah Nisbeth, Siham Dammany, Ellie Winters, Emma Spencer.
Alexandra Park: Kelly Canterford, Zoe Tweedale, Jean Bevan, Harriet Alcock, Nicola Sale, Natasha Buddle, Jennah Dirksen, Chelsea Orridge-Golding, Annika Walsh, Beth Turrell, Tracey Caldwell. Subs: Sinead Harris, Jannie Holtov, Naomi Joyner, Athena Yan, Emily McLaughlin.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Emily O'Neill slides in to tackle Tracey Caldwell
(middle) Zoe Tweedale in a chase with Katie Jackson
(bottom) Victoire victorious!
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