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Sheffield FC Ladies were officially crowned Champions of the North East League Premier Division following a clinical 7-1 away win at Hull City.
The huge effort required to beat Barnsley 3-2 last Tuesday night at the BT Local Business Stadium had left Sheffield needing just one point from their final game to win the title on points rather than rely on goal difference. The victory against Hull meant that third placed Whitley Bay could no longer catch Sheffield and their final game against Huddersfield Town this coming Sunday means they can only climb as high as second now.
After some early resistance from Hull City, Sheffield composed themselves and dug in to produce a fine performance which saw goals from Kayleigh Mitchell, Lisa Giampalma and Clare Holmes, plus a fantastic four-goal haul from striker Nicolle Jepson. The final whistle was greeted with celebrations from all in the Sheffield camp, something that continued when the team returned to Sheffield long into Monday morning.
It is the second time that Sheffield have won their League title in three seasons and they have never finished out of the top two in the past five campaigns. It is a record that manager Helen Mitchell is understandably proud of. "We have been steadily improving as a group over the past five years and all worked very hard to do that," she said. "The success of the past three seasons has been incredibly exciting and is reward for everything the players and staff have put into the Club during that time.
"The players have been amazing again this season and have shown such a huge amount of commitment over the course of what has been a very tough and very long campaign. We were all devastated after missing out on the last day of last season, so to come back and do it all again shows great character from all the players and huge determination to go one better this time.
"I am so pleased for them to get what they deserve, and so very proud of them for everything they have given the team this season. They are a total credit to Sheffield FC and we're all looking forward to a rest now, and then the challenge of Combination League football next season."
As a finale to the season, Sheffield FC Ladies have been very kindly invited by Derby County Ladies to play an end of season friendly match on Thursday night (20th May) at Pride Park Stadium! The match kicks off at 9.30pm and will be a great way to crown a superb year for all at the club.
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