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Women's Football News
Douglas Royal's Donna Shimmin may have dispatched numerous penalties in her prolific playing career but none was more significant than the one which she scored on Tuesday evening in the 1-0 win over Gymnasium at Tromode.
The penalty was not only the winner which clinched the Isle of Man Division One title but also the first team to clinch the 'treble' after securing the Floodlit Cup and the FA Cup.
Champagne yet again flowed afterwards for an exceptional season for the Whites for a less than exceptional performance last Tuesday. The exertions of three matches within seven days were beginning to take their toll on the visitors as Gymnasium defended exceptionally. Kim Carney, playing in central defence was by far the best player on the pitch, racing everywhere, breaking up wave after wave of Royal's attacks and clearing sensibly. Along with defensive cohorts Renee Micholgiannis and Kerry Penswick supported by the encouraging words from goalkeeper Rose Ozga, the Tromode outfit looked to counter with Zoe Carney on the flank, the home side gave everything for the cause.
Royal dominated possession but looked jaded in attack and flowing moves broke down at the critical phase or finished with some wayward shooting. Shimmin drove an effort haplessly wide yet the best chance came to the home side in the opening throws. A spell of passing play saw Zoe Carney cut in from the right, her shot missed the target but Dawn Quinn kept the attack alive, crossing for Carney who could not apply the decisive touch. Shimmin and Ceri Purvis continued to shoot waywardly or drive shots straight at Ozga as did Leanne Ashe when she had a near empty goal staring at her. Bekki Cole continued to cause problems with her corners, one of them hitting the top of the bar, another found Kym Hicklin who headed wide.
In the second half, as predicted it was one way traffic - the Whites' tide was relentless. Cole's centre was cleared as far as Ashe who drove an effort striking the outside of the post, Cole came close herself with a long range effort that was tipped onto the bar by Ozga. The Whites created another opening following a rare defensive lapse, Vicky Worthington was put clear from Hicklin's through ball but steered her effort agonisingly past the post.
The elusive breakthrough arrived in the 70th minute. Shimmin charged into the box, Rachel Beckley impeded the Royal striker's progress and fell down - penalty! Showing ice cool nerves, Shimmin dispatched her spot kick low in the centre right, narrowly whistling past Ozga's body for the decisive goal.
Hicklin came close to adding a second, her header was denied by Ozga throwing herself across goal but it didn't matter. Once the final whistle had blown, Douglas Royal had written a special and unique page within the history of Manx women's football.
Gymnasium: Rose Ozga, Elaine Wiseman, Kerry Penswick, Zoe Carney, Rachel Beckley, Lee Quinn, Renee Michalogiannis, Angela Guest, Kim Carney, Dawn Quinn, Fay Gordon (sub Suzie Maiden 62mins).
Douglas Royal: Karen Faragher, Andrea Lace, Tracey Craige, Leanne Ashe, Orna Lynch (sub Vicky Worthington 59mins), Kerri Williams, Bekki Cole, Kym Hicklin, Donna Shimmin, Ceri Purvis, Sarah Breen. Subs not used: Sam Jordan. Jane Ann Doyle.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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