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Current champions Corinthians started their Isle of Man League campaign at the new surroundings of Ballafletcher.
One of the most decorated players in the Manx game, Corinthians' Anna Dillon, added an honour that no-one else will ever replicate by becoming the first woman footballer to score at Ballafletcher as her side went onto beat Peel 12-0. Corinthians, who completed a treble last season, will be looking to maintain those high standards this campaign in new surroundings.
It only took three minutes for footballing history to be made. Dillon worked a one-two with Leonie Roberts, the former beat the offside trap to dispatch the opening goal. Roberts made it 2-0 following some good work by Amy Speed along the flank with Sarah Kerford drilling in their third after being the recipient of Dillon's corner. White shirts continued to flood into the opposing half, the Corinthians' tide was relentless. Kayleigh Callow went close twice before Burden netted their fourth, Speed again being the provider, Roberts put the ball into the back of the net after intercepting Lisa Pugh's goal kick with Burden scoring Corinthians' sixth before the interval.
On resumption, Dillon's terrorising runs were causing all sorts of problems for the visitors, on one occasion setting up Callow made it 7-0. Maxine Smalley went close for the westerners, forcing a save from Rose Ozga, before Corinthians cranked up the gears. Burden and Roberts completed hat-tricks with Burden netting again as the Whites reached double figures. Callow scored her second after latching onto Dillon's through ball and finished off her hat-trick when Leanne Prescott's effort hit the woodwork, Callow was at hand to slot in the rebound.
Corinthians: Rose Ozga, Lynette Corran, Natalie Johnson, Rachel Quirk (sub Jane Bottomley 55mins), Leanne Prescott, Kayleigh Callow, Amy Speed, Anna Dillon, Jade Burden, Sarah Kerford (sub Lauren Christian 55mins), Leonie Roberts.
Peel: Lisa Pugh, Jasmyn Crowe, Bernadette Dunn, Donna Harrison, Rhiannon Edwards, Nicola Rooney, Maxine Smalley (sub Amanda Preston 75mins), Emily Kingett, Erin Callister, Aalish Burden, Kayleigh Greggor.
Fallen champions Douglas Royal, despite fielding only ten players, got their league campaign off to a winning start at Ballafletcher by defeating Castletown 7-0. Siobhann Lockwood opened the scoring for the Whites with Sarah Breen netting the second. Leanne Ashe made it three after receiving Donna Shimmin's through ball, Breen completing a brace before half time. Lockwood headed home Royal's fifth following Vicky Worthington's corner, Ruth Smith then firing in a 25-yard effort for the "Goal of the match." Shimmin completed the scoring with a shot across goal into the bottom left corner.
Ramsey, who previously played Second Division football, picked up the result of the day by defeating last season's top flight side Gymnasium 3-1. This was the first time Ramsey have triumphed over Gymnasium. Karmina Kovanda scored first for the northerners, Lauren Stoutt doubling their lead. Gillian Christian reduced the arrears but Kovanda scored Ramsey's third, all goals being scored in the first half.
Laxey started their season with a 4-2 win at the expense of Colby. Becky Sansom made it 1-0 for the Miners with Kerry Lockwood making it two before half-time Cue the Colby comeback, Nikki Cooil and Gill Cardy levelling matters to make it 2-2 but when there looked a share of the spoils, Lockwood scored direct from a corner, restoring the lead and debutante Chloe Swales rounded off the scoring netting Laxey's fourth.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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