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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Cheltenham Town staged arguably the comeback of the round to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Stoke Lane Athletic to eventually run out 6-3 winners.
Grace Parker and Jade Ives each bagged doubles, with Charlie Griffin and Rhona Donaldson completing the comeback for the Gloucestershire side who will now play at home to Launton, who were 4-0 winners away to Stony Stratford Town.
Launton Ladies were formed over 35 years ago, initially to play a fun match against Marsh Gibbon. The team was made up of local girls and, from the original team, Shirley Johnson is the only one left who is connected with the club, as Club Secretary. From this fun game, they were invited to enter the Oxfordshire League, which consisted of a dozen or so teams including Rose Hill, Woolworths, Littlewoods, Chalgrove and Thame. During their first season they lost every game, sometimes as much as 30-0, but still kept going and gradually improved. Unfortunately the Oxfordshire League disbanded and Launton joined the East Midlands League. This involved long journeys such as Norwich, Cambridge, Bedford, but by then the commitment was there and they went from strength to strength. Another milestone in the club's history was the loss of our captain Judy Fry who collapsed and died shortly after a game. She is still remembered by the club with their annual five-a-side competition held every year as a fundraising event in her memory.
The squad had changed dramatically from the early days when it was just a bit of fun. Sadly they lost a very talented player Jackie Bone who was killed in a road accident she was only 17 years old, mentally some players never got over it.
Through the restructure of the league, Launton moved to the Southern Region League where they gained promotion in 2004 to the South West Combination where they stayed for two seasons before being relegated back into the Southern Region League Premier Division in 2006, where they have remained since. Sadly Phil Jeacock, who didn't play but was a big part of the club and remained so until she died on July 7th 2007.
The game will be played at Quat Goose Lane and Cheltenham are likely to start as narrow favourites but this could turn out to be a closely contested match.
Cheltenham Town (from): Alexis Lunn, Faye Goodwin, Penny Kershaw, Sarah Lane, Louise McAlary, Natalie Berry, Lauren Wyatt, Rhona Donaldson, Charlie Griffin, Cherie Rutherford, Grace Parker, Jess Cave, Stacey Turton, Tzara Marriott, Abi Pearce.
Launton (from): Janine Mallett, Jenna Carss, Carol Bardell, Kim Pringle, Beth Cutting, Emma Dobie, Esther Dixon, Stephanie Barrs, Lisa Boyer, Siobhan Gay, Diane Taylor, Flic West, Julie Phillips, Rosie West, Bev Hirona.
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