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Castletown defeated Ramsey 5-2 at the Ballacloan Stadium and, afterwards, collected the Isle of Man Division Two title.
Champagne flowed yet and, if you can raise a glass to anyone, it has to be to the coaches and players of the women's football where the standard is increasing. This match was reflective of that and a joy to watch.
The wire cages of the champagne bottles must have been removed with only two minutes played as Kim Watson's corner found the head of Tricia Fleming who nodded in the opener. For long spells, Ramsey were playing too deep, inviting their opponents in, allowing the southerners to create a succession of chances with some eye-through-a-needle passing in the attacking third.
A continued spell of southern pressure was rewarded with a second on 24 minutes. The busy Kim Watson darted along the left, her goal line shot beat the goalkeeper and went across the goal, Natalie Davies tried to clear the danger but hit Kate Leece's back and fell invitingly into Emma Davenport's path to tap in an easy chance.
Ramsey hit back with the fleet footwork of strike duo Bekkie Colquitt and Kealey Hawthorn, the latter darted clear on one occasion but was denied by the feet of goalkeeper Jane Kayleigh.
The northerners did reduce the deficit before the interval, Hawthorn latching onto a through ball to get goal side of her marker, her shot was repelled into the path of Molly Canavan who steered in an easy chance.
Castletown went about their business straight from the restart, quickly restoring their two-goal lead. Denny's pass eluded the Ramsey back line and Donna Primrose-Smith, playing up front in the second half, tapped home from close for her first goal for the Stadium outfit since her transfer from Malew five years ago.
Undeterred, Ramsey played their way back into contention with another goal. Colquitt's cross field pass found Canavan, whose drag-back deceived the defender and fed Hawthorn who unleashed a spectacular long range effort into the roof of the net.
Despite Ramsey's hard work, they let it slip again, Leece's goal kick found Denny who returned it back into the net.
Two precise, measured through balls from Sarah Perry to Colquitt put her clear, only to be denied by Kayleigh's acrobatics.
The champagne bottles were removed from the ice when the southern outfit netted their fifth in the closing phase. Davies and Fleming gave chase to a ball on the right, the Castletown forward getting the better of the Ramsey defender before laying it off to Denny, who worked an extra yard of shooting space before drilling a superb effort just inside the left post. Cue for the travelling support to play Queen's "We are the Champions" on their portable CD player.
Ramsey: Kate Leece, Catherine Kennedy, Molly Canavan, Natalie Davies, Claire Bush, Rebecca Foster, Bekkie Colquitt, Hannah Thompson, Tara Slinger, Kealey Hawthorn, Sarah Perry
Subs not used: Charlie Smith, Rebecca Radcliffe.
Castletown: Jane Kayleigh, Donna Primrose-Smith, Sharon Whitehouse, Tracey Lowe, Caitlin Qualtrough (sub Abbie Marsden 76mins), Charlie Watson, Sarah Denny, Kim Watson (sub Sarah Jackson 45mins), Emma Davenport, Tricia Fleming, Justine Carran.
The Isle of Man Division One title race hotted up with both title contenders winning their matches. Rushen Utd defeated Gymnasium 6-1 despite the Tromode outfit taking the lead through a Zoe Carney effort. However, a four-goal haul from Donna Harrison and a Hannah Biggerstaff brace ensured victory for the Croit Lowey outfit.
Douglas Royal went on to beat Peel 9-0 at Groves Road. Leading 3-0 at the break, Donna Shimmin (4), Bekki Cole (2), Kym Hicklin, Sarah Breen and Leanne Ashe were on target for the Noble's Park outfit.
(Report by Paul Hatton)
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