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This Sunday saw the second Charter Standard Adult Female Festival take place at Old Grammarians Sports Ground in Wellingborough.
The Northamptonshire event has been running for several years now and provides a traditional warm up to the season in its 11-a-side format. The tournament is only open to Charter Standard Adult clubs and is run with this ethos at the heart of it.
This year, four teams entered, including our newest Charter Standard adult club, Thorplands Ladies. Each team played each other for one half of 30 minutes, meaning the total playing time was equal to that of a full match. Reigning holders, AFC Trinity came back to defend their shield and they were joined by Earls Barton Ladies and Kingsthorpe Ladies and Girls.
Eileen Pacey, one of our local female referees, and Chair of our MDH Midshires Girls Football League took charge of one pitch while the other pitch was overseen by Peter Spink, who regularly referees in women's football.
The first round of games saw Earls Barton, with only ten players, face the ever strong AFC Trinity. Earls Barton had a young side and it was a tough start against Trinity but they did well withstanding heavy pressure. The Earls Barton keeper, Katie Newman, kept Trinity at bay for at least 15 minutes making a string of good saves before Trinity finally made a breakthrough in second half of the match. The game finished 4-0. The other first round game saw Kingsthorpe against Thorplands. Kingsthorpe had taken a fairly early lead in the game and it was the only goal that separated the two sides. Though Kingsthorpe seemed to just have the edge, Thorplands pressed and had the odd attempt on goal. It was widely recognised that the Thorplands team had improved over the summer and impressed all throughout the tournament.
The second round of games saw Trinity face Thorplands. Thorplands' improvement was evident here as they conceded only 2 goals and put up a brave performance. The game was more even and Thorplands were unlucky not to get a goal from the game. The other encounter saw Earls Barton play Kingsthorpe. Again, Kingsthorpe, playing with a few new players in the squad, had good spells of pressure and were denied by Katie in the Earls Barton goal. The game finished goalless with both teams earning a point from the game.
The final round saw Kingsthorpe needing to beat Trinity to have any chance of winning the whole tournament. The game started fairly evenly with both sides having spells of possession but Trinity took advantage scoring through Bryna Holmes after a series of missed chances. Kingsthorpe had some good pressure and April Malin went close but the Trinity defence stood firm. Trinity held out to win 4-0 in the end. The other game between Thorplands and Earls Barton saw a thrilling 2-2 draw with each side claiming a point from the game.
The results meant that Earls Barton came in third place after claiming two draws, and Thorplands finished fourth. Kingsthorpe were second with four points and Trinity claimed nine out of nine to retain their Charter Standard Shield. All teams were presented with Umbro vouchers and goodies, and Thorplands Ladies were presented with their Charter Standard Plaque and certificate. The runners up and winners each received medals before Trinity were presented with their Shield.
Kathryn Hall, Women and Girls Development Officer for Northamptonshire FA, organised the tournament and said: "This is the second year that I have run this tournament and clubs seem to have really embraced the ethos of the day. It was a good day, with good football being played and a big thank you and well done to all the teams that took part."
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