AS the sun set behind the hills overlooking Ballafletcher on a glorious sunny evening last Thursday, Corinthians wrote another glorious chapter in their history after securing their biggest win over neighbours Douglas Royal on their own turf with a 1-5 victory and were presented with the MBL-sponsored Division One title after the final whistle.
The Whites have secured three consecutive top-flight titles, a feat last emulated by Malew in the previous decade. It was fitting that a member of Malew’s alumni - Anna Dillon - lifted the shield as Corinthians’ captain to well and truly start the celebrations.
There are those sceptics who may think that, with the league title already decided before kick-off and that the focus of attention is now that of the FA Cup, there was little to play for.
Douglas Royal could have salvaged some pride and upset the championship party. However, Corinthians defied opinion and put in another first class performance with Kiera Morgan scoring a hat-trick for the Whites in this fixture.
Corinthians’ demolition derby started on 14 minutes when Stephanie Hall cut in from the right and her drive was palmed by goalkeeper Kerri Williams straight into the path of the advancing Kiera Morgan who slid in an easy chance.
Royal, throughout the match, created very little and when they equalised it can only be described as a goalkeeping howler. There appeared little danger when Donna Shimmin launched a tame effort from distance and goalkeeper Rose Ozga looked to have it covered but, somehow, the ball bounced past her and into the net.
Corinthians recaptured their lead with 23 minutes played. Megan Loughran’s throw-in was collected by Dillon who peeled away from her marker before unleashing a shot that Williams got her finger-tips to it but couldn’t prevent from entering the net to score a rare Noble’s Park-cum-Ballafletcher derby goal.
With both teams agreeing to play 35 minutes each way, shortly after the break it became 1-3.
Loughran scampered along the left, her squared effort across goal was fumbled into the path of Morgan who converted from close range.
With Corinthians still in control, a fourth was added soon after when Dillon and Sarah O’Reilly combined for a short corner. The latter’s initial cross was blocked, but her second attempt eluded a packed penalty area except for Shannon Groves who was unmarked at the far post to tap in.
Morgan rounded off a memorable night by completing her treble in the closing stages of the game. Loughran crossed from the left to Morgan who juggled the ball from one foot to the other before unleashing a pile-driver into the roof of the net.
After the final whistle, the presentation was made on Corinthians’ pitch. Isle of Man Football Association treasurer Stephen Carter said a few words before the shield was presented to the champions by MBL’s Simon Pickering.
Douglas Royal: Kerri Williams, Andrea Lace, Tracy Craig, Sam King, Bekki Cole, Sarah Breen, Katie Halsall, Zoe Hawley, Sarah Brunswick (Maggie Rough 36m), Donna Shimmin, Sam Jordan
Corinthians: Rose Ozga, Lauren Christian (Shelley Simpson 47m), Jenna McStay, Sarah O’Reilly, Leanne Prescott, Shannon Groves, Stephanie Hall, Anna Dillon, Megan Loughran, Amy Speed, Kiera Morgan