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For a side that has been hit by injuries and holidays, building on last fortnight's impressive win over Peel was always going to be a huge call for a make-shift Castletown against a full-strength Gymnasium in the Isle of Man WFA Cup. Gymnasium scored three goals without reply to reach their second semi final this campaign.
Although defender Becca Kelly made a couple of important interceptions early on, Gymnasium started to dominate proceedings. Led by the triumvirate of the impressive Kim Carney in midfield, the excellent Suzie Maiden as an outlet and Dawn Quinn's pace in attack, waves of striped shirts started to flood into the opposing half. Maiden lifted an effort over the bar and Quinn had a strike cleared off the line by Donna Cooper. Gymnasium came close again, Quinn's effort was tipped away and Erin Carpenter's surging run was finished with a tame shot at Coulthurst.
On 24 minutes, the Red dam finally broke. Maiden showed excellent vision, dropping her effort behind the opposing back line and Carney connected, muscling off her marker and accelerating towards goal where her initial shot was parried by Coulthurst but made sure at the second attempt, smashing into the roof of the net.
The Tromode side nearly made it 2-0 as four striped shirts beat the offside trap following Quinn's free kick but Rachel Beckley guided her shot straight at the opposing keeper. Castletown's first clear cut opportunity came on 32 minutes, Sarah Denny's long range shot was met by Emily Winterton's raised hands.
A minute later, it was 2-0. Carpenter's corner was cleared as far as Anglea Guest whose exquisite floated effort into the top right hand corner. Quinn came close again as her strike rattled the bar and angled strikes from Maiden and Quinn were denied by Coulthurst.
Gymnasium continued to dominate in the second half but created very little, Quinn hitting the side netting after being put clear by Carney. They had to wait until the 77 minutes for their next goal. Carney charged down the left, her cut back found substitute Emma Corlett to sweep home to make it 3-0. Castletown's best chance came when Sharon Whitehouse's effort was cleared off the line by Jane Smith.
Rushen Utd reached their sixth semi final by defeating Laxey 10-4, despite Rushen only fielding eight players and their oppenents only ten. Leading 3-2 at half-time, Donna Harrison (6), Hayley Cowin (2) and Elizabeth Stanley were on target for the southerners with the Miners replying through Rhiannon Brew (2), Dawn Winn and Kerry Lockwood.
Corinthians reached their third FA Cup semi final in four years by defeating Colby 7-1. It only took three minutes to breach the southern rearguard, Voirrey Holmes found centre found Jade Burden to fire home a low shot for her 50th of the season. Louise Quirk chipped home their second and Lucy Kinrade's ball over the Colby defence was pounced upon by Holmes to head home. Roberts fired home Corinthians' fourth with a strike from the edge of the penalty area and number five followed soon afterwards, Burden beating two players to set-up Sarah Kerford whose crisp shot found the far left hand corner. Nikki Cooil's lofted effort temporarily reduced the arrears but Holmes had the final say, netting their sixth after collecting Hall's cross to complete her hat-trick, rounding goalkeeper Monika Gale to place into an empty net.
Douglas Royal, the most successful team in the competition, eased their passage to a place in the final four after defeating Ramsey 11-0. With only five minutes registered, Royal scored when Donna Shimmin headed in Bekki Cole's corner. Leanne Ashe headed home to make it 2-0 and Cole volleyed home their third following Shimmin's cross. Kym Hicklin towered to head home their fourth from a corner and Ashe finish a hat-trick, twice collecting through balls from midfield. Shimmin scored another header to make it 7-0 and she completed her hat-trick after Karen Faragher played a neat ball to her to turn the defence and blast home. Orna Lynch finished off the first half scoring when she dug the ball out from under her feet and swept it under the Ramsey keeper at the near post.
In the second half, Royal reached double figures when Cole scored from an acute angle after Hicklin's shot was parried. Shimmin finished off the scoring, scrambling through players to poke home from close range.
Photo - Gymnasium's Suzie Maiden (left - striped shirt) launches another attack, closely watched by Donna Cooper of Castletown (Report and photo - Paul Hatton)
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