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After the battle following the Isle of Man Floodlit Cup semi final at the NSC four weeks ago involving Corinthians and Douglas Royal, it wouldn't be a surprise if the United Nations has declared Noble's Park a war zone!
It was Douglas Royal who would emerge victorious from this latest encounter by defeating their neighbours Corinthians 4-2 in the Isle of Man FA Cup Preliminary Round. In doing so, they maintain their grip on all three major trophies.
The UN must have sent in their mediators since the Floodlit Cup tie as most of the first half was a tepid affair. For long spells, neither side could control or maintain possession, the football was described by Royal's captain Kym Hicklin like that of a "hot potato." Yet the chances came to Corinthians, Jade Burden twice, Sarah O'Reilly and the busy Lauren Christian all sending shots wide.
Royal's first opportunity came when the home side's defensive couldn't clear their lines and the advancing Leanne Ashe drove her effort straight at goalkeeper Rachel Quirk. Corinthians hit back, O'Reilly's excellent crossfield ball found Burden who unleashed a shot just over the crossbar.
Just before half time, Brain Cowin's side got their noses despite creating little in the first 45 minutes. Purvis and Shimmin fashioned a move on the left, stretching the Corinthians' defence, and the latter passed to an unmarked Ashe who had time to pick her spot and slot it past Quirk for the opener. Cowin read the riot act to his side come the interval.
Chances still came for Corinthians, Burden left her shooting boots at home having three attempts off target, one of them, a glancing header went narrowly wide. Prolifigacy cost Corinthians dear with the visitors netting a second. Worthington's throw in from the left was collected by Shimmin, who had time to turn and unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area that flew into the top right corner.
Royal rubbed salt into Corinthians' battle wounds by quickly racing to a 3-0 lead. Purvis slipped a through ball and Shimmin reacted quicker, nipping ahead and round Quirk to tuck into an empty net.
It was the footballing cliché for Royal of "converting your chances" - Cole's corner eluded a forest of bodies before finding Jane Bottomley who steered the ball into her own net to make it 4-0. Four shots on target - four goals: the scoreline flattered Royal!
Corinthians did lead a mini fightback and they found the net on 85 minutes following an exquisite passing move, started by Christian, which found Anna Dillon, whose defence-splitting pass put Kerford clear to guide home Corinthians' first goal. In added time, they reduced the arrears further, Kerford sprayed it wide to Christian who fired a blistering shot across goal and into the top left corner. But by then, it was too little to late.
In the remaining FA Cup match, Laxey maintained their impressive recent form with a 5-0 win over Michael Utd. Kerry Lockwood fired home the opener with an effort from the edge of the penalty area with Dawn Winn netting a fine solo effort for their second. Lockwood scored again exquisitely chipping over goalkeeper Kate Connell for their third just before half time. Winn made it 4-0 after the break following a passing move and working a one-two before firing home. Winn completed her hat-trick following another flowing move, Rhiannon Brew lofted to Kelly Barlow on the right, her precise pass fell to the feet of the Laxey striker who tucked her effort past Connell to stake her claim for the match ball.
The only league match that was played last Sunday was in Division Two, which saw Castletown strengthen their title ambitions with a 10-0 win over Ramsey. Leading 5-0 at the interval, Tricia Fleming (5), Sarah Denny (2) debutante Sara Ismail-Sutton (2) and Justine Carran netted their goals.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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