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Women's Football News
Top Women's referee Wendy Toms has officiated at her last match.
After 23 years of officiating at home and abroad (UEFA and FIFA competitions) the Hampshire-based referee took centre stage for the last time at this season's Challenge Plate Final between Asfordby Amateurs and Radcliffe Olympic.
Favourites Radcliffe, who have won promotion to next season's Midland Combination by virtue of winning the Premier Division, proved too strong for their opponents from Division One South, winning
8-0 though underdogs Asfordby, who finished one place off the bottom, fought bravely and never gave up. A Claire Weeks hat-trick, Jo Campbell (2), Ash Evans, Angie Smith and an own goal accounted for Radcliffe's tally which included two goals in first half stoppage time.
Following on from the Plate Final in the double header at Ilkeston Town was the Challenge Cup Final, an all-Division One North affair between champions Welbeck Welfare and Sandiacre Town who finished in third, eight points behind their opponents. Despite losing just once in the league Welbeck were unable to complete as Sandiacre triumphed 2-0 thanks to goals from Lynne Thompson and player of the match Ali Soria whose goal was most worthy of the occasion.
Toms was one of the assistant referees for the second match when Howard Webb was the man in the middle with Janie Frampton the other assistant and Anthony Tankard the fourth official.
The League also raised £800 for Cath Eyley, who is a part of the England Ladies Deaf Futsal squad and has also been selected to represent Great Britain at next year's Deaf Olympics in China. With each of the players having to fund their own trip (approximately £3,500) the League's fundraising has made a significant contribution to that target. The £800 was pushed much closer to the £1,000 mark when the match officials, despite protestations from the league management committee, insisted that their match fees were donated towards Cath's trip to China. Surely they should know by now that once a referee has made his/her decision there is no point arguing. A stubborn lot these referees!
Toms remains in the refereeing business, having qualified as an FA Licenced Referee Instructor and she will be involved in the training, education and development of referees. Webb, meanwhile, has an important summer ahead as he is officiating at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland and with England having to failed to qualify, he has a very realistic chance of being in the middle when the tournament reaches its conclusion. (Report by Julian Barker)
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