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In the Isle of Man, the Ballafletcher derby has captured the fascination of the Manx footballing public and Corinthians and Douglas Royal continue to wrestle it out for women's soccer supremacy, on this occasion finishing in a pulsating 2-2 draw.
Both sides' rearguard actions were excellent, while Royal's Kym Hicklin, Andrea Lace and Ruth Smith deserve a special mention as tackles and challenges flew everywhere throughout, blocking any resulting shots, scoring in this fixture brings instant adulation from their own supporters and team mates.
Corinthians looked uneasy from the outset, at times struggling to capture their footballing rhythm, and Royal took advantage, Leanne Ashe darting through into space but her shot was repelled by goalkeeper Rose Ozga. More chances fell to Royal, the visitors striking first in the first ever Ballafletcher derby on 25 minutes. Siobhann Lockwood pushed a perfectly weighted through ball into Ashe's path where, keeping her composure, she guided her shot past Ozga, sending Royal into raptures.
Corinthians overcame their earlier nerves and once into their footballing stride, equalised on 44 minutes. Jade Burden wormed her way through, her shot was parried and Rachel Quirk pounced, her shot spinning off Hicklin's outstretched leg and into the roof of the net.
After the intermission, Burden raced through but her shot was superbly blocked by Kerri Williams. On 59 minutes, Royal re-established their lead. A Cole corner was half cleared and an unmarked Zoe Hawley lifted her effort past Ozga's stretch and into the roof of the net. What a way to score your first ever goal.
Corinthians came again, Quirk and Burden were clean through but fired wide and Sarah Kerford hitting the bar.
Just when visions of headlines of Hawley scoring the winner raced through Royal's minds, Corinthians had a different say on 82 minutes. Kerford's shot looked a routine catch for Williams but she spilled it into Amy Speed's path, tapping into an empty net for a dramatic equaliser.
Hicklin could have scored the winner at the close of play, her header was cleared off the line. After the final whistle, players will be counting their bruises. Credit to the first aid from both sides - they were the busiest people on the day. Sunday 6th March 2011 for Ballafletcher part 2 - bring it on!
Corinthians: Rose Ozga, Vicky Venn, Natalie Johnson, Sarah O'Reilly, Leanne Prescott, Amy Speed, Stephanie Hall, Anna Dillon, Jade Burden, Sarah Kerford, Rachel Quirk.
Douglas Royal: Kerri Williams, Andrea Lace, Siobhann Lockwood, Leanne Ashe, Orna McKeever, Katie Halsall (sub Zoe Hawley 44mins), Bekki Cole, Kym Hicklin, Ruth Smith, Vicky Worthington, Sarah Breen.
Gymnasium topped the MBL sponsored women's football league for the first time in the club's history with a 10-0 win over DHSOB. Leading 7-0 at the break, Gillian Christian (3), Eleanor Gawne (2), Dawn Quinn (2), Mia Brigantona (2) and Toni Beresford scored for the Tromode side.
Ramsey, the only team left with a 100% record, maintained their impressive form with a 5-1 win over Castletown. With the scores 1-1 at half-time, Natasha Moore (2), Sam MacDonald, Lauren Stoutt and Karmina Kovanda scored for the Ballacloan outfit, Castletown's response came from a Dawn Winn strike.
Peel registered their first win of the season with a 4-1 win over Laxey. Leading 2-1 at the break, Emily Kingett (3) and Maxine Smalley struck for the westerners, Chloe Swales scored the for Miners.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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