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Women's Football News
Rochdale capped a marvellous weekend for their club by clinching the Northern Combination title with a 3-1 win away to rivals South Durham Royals. 24 hours after the men's team had clinched promotion to League One for the first time in 42 years, the ladies reached the Premier League for the first time in their history after going into the game needing a win against the only team still mathematically capable of catching them.
South Durham got off to a flying start and took an early lead but Rochdale were back on level terms shortly before half time, Lizzie Paul firing home following a good run from Rachael Wood. Just after the hour mark, Dale were in front for the first time after a great crossfield pass from Susie Wells picked out Chantelle Parry who burst through on goal before finishing confidently. South Durham tried hard to get back into the game but the result was put beyond doubt with ten minutes remaining, Clare Sykes being brought down in the area and Wells slotting home the resulting penalty.
The resignation of Blackpool Wren Rovers has forced a re-calculation of the table but the top positions remain unaffected. Salford Ladies are still in the hunt for a top four finish and boosted their chances by beating Scunthorpe Utd 5-2. Chelsea Scholes scored twice, with other goals from Isha Mundell, Abby Wynn and Claire Harrop.
Wakefield have climbed out of the bottom two places after scoring ten without reply against Darlington RA.
Champions Coventry City's hopes of finishing their successful season with an unbeaten record were shattered in their final match as they were beaten 2-1 by TNS Ladies. Alicia Robinson put TNS ahead in the opening minute from the penalty spot and, although Helen Dermody soon levelled the scores for the Sky Blues, TNS went on to take the points thanks to a goal on the hour mark from Chloe Mapp.
Sporting Club Albion clinched the runners-up position in style, running out 5-0 winners over Loughborough Foxes.
Rotherham Utd still have an outside chance of a top three place and they still remain after they came away from Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 4-1 victory. Hayley Wood netted twice and Zuzana Pramakova added another inside the opening fourteen minutes before Natalie Widdal pulled a goal back for Wolves just before half time. Helen Lynskey capped a fine display from Rotherham with the final goal in the dying minutes.
Stoke City are finishing the season well and they notched up a 3-2 away win for the second week in a row, this time against Leicester City thanks to a Kate Asher double and Emma Sanders.
Leafield Athletic continue to pull away from the bottom places and Leigh Dugmore's double, along with a further goal from Amber Hughes, saw them to a 3-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra.
South East Combination
Gillingham will have to wait at least one more week before they can finally be confirmed as Champions after they went down to a 2-0 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur. Ryah Vyse gave Spurs a first half lead and Kirsten Thomson wrapped up the points with a strike in the second half.
South West Combination
League leaders Chesham Utd were pegged back to a 3-3 draw by Forest Green Rovers and saw their advantage trimmed to a single point.
Havant & Waterlooville bounced back from their defeat the previous Sunday to get their challenge back on course with a vital 1-0 success away to Plymouth Argyle. Leeta Rutherford scored the only goal of the game for the Hawks in first half stoppage time.
Yeovil Town are closing in on the leading sides following two away victories in a matter of days. On Sunday, Jemma Tewkesbury and Kayleigh Nardiello each netted doubles as the Somerset side won 4-0 at Swindon Town and they followed this up by defeating Forest Green Rovers 3-0 thanks to a Nardiello brace and Stacey Pearson, lifting themselves into third place in the process.
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