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You have to go are far back as 30 March 2003 when Douglas Royal last won a league match at Croit Lowey, Rushen Utd in the Isle of Man.
Global events included the start of the protests against the Iraq War and the SARS epidemic, but last Sunday, the Whites bucked that trend by defeating their traditional rivals Rushen Utd 2-0.
The visitors brought a full squad and deserved their win against their old adversaries which included a full compliment of substitutes. The same sadly, cannot be said for Rushen Utd who, for a match of such significance, only started with 10 players. Although there were bursts of endeavour, the visitors always made the spare player count and went on to control the match for long spells.
They had the ideal start with only two minutes played - a move stemming along the right, Ceri Purvis made space and her centre took a deflection off a Rushen shirt finding her strike partner Donna Shimmin who guided her effort past Elizabeth Stanley and into the top right hand corner.
Royals made the elements count, hemming their opponents in their own half with Shimmin forcing another save from Stanley. Rushen had to wait until the half hour mark to work their first clear cut opening, Eleanor Gawne and Hannah Griffiths skying efforts wide off target.
Then disaster struck for Rushen on 39 minutes. Shimmin received possession around the edge of the penalty area and, drawing out Stanley who was playing more like a sweeper, angled her pass across goal where Bekki Cole charged into vacated space and slid home an angled effort at the far post for Royal's second.
The Whites came close to adding to their tally after their break Shimmin putting Purvis in the clear, she steered her effort just past Stanley but narrowly past the upright.
Shimmin also came close twice to adding to their scoreline and Kym Hicklin's dipping effort forced a back tracking Stanley into a good save. Rushen did muster a late surge inspired by Gawne, her free kick grazed just over the crossbar and moments later, could not capitalise on a poor kick. But Kerri Williams led a largely untroubled afternoon and this victory sees the Whites leapfrog over the home side and restore their top spot berth in the league table.
The Floodlit Cup kicked off the same afternoon with Peel defeating Colby 2-1 at the NSC. The southerners were rightly the most improved team from last season - the westerners look certain to take this mantle with a string of impressive performances this campaign. In an end-to-end affair in the first half, Peel struck first from a Vanessa Roberts corner, Emma Faulkner volleying a superb effort into the net. Colby equalised from a corner of their own making, Alice Leadbeater's cross found Nikki Cooil to steer home. After the interval, Roberts hit the side netting but she was involved in Peel's winner, her cut back found Sandra McLaughlin whose effort lacked conviction and somehow slipped through goalkeeper Monika Gale's palms and trickled into the bottom left corner. Colby had two chances of equalising, the first was a powerful Leadbeater shot which goalkeeper Lisa Kelly had to collect at the second attempt and, as the match came to a close, Cooil's cross from the right was flicked on by Francesca Smith and in doing so, drew out Kelly, the ball bounced across an empty goal but the onrushing Charlotte Cain could not apply the all-important decisive touch as Peel got their Floodlit Cup campaign off to a winning start.
The other Group A match involving Corinthians and Laxey was called off due the adverse weather conditions.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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