CORINTHIANS 7 DOUGLAS ROYAL 1
BY PAUL HATTON(@Hatty1970)
As the rain poured down during the 15th Warehouse Fitness Limited sponsored Flood-lit Cup final, Corinthians whipped up their own footballing storm, defeating their neighbours Douglas Royal 7-1 to secure the trophy for a fourth occasion.
After losing ground in the title race and still hurt from their league derby defeat, Corinthians had a point to prove, and in doing so, broke two records with a devastating second half display. It was the biggest score-line in a Flood-lit Cup final and a Ballafletcher derby win in favour of Corinthians.
Corinthians’ manager Michael Quilliam got his tactics right. The key area was the centre midfield, Shelley Simpson switching from full-back to the middle, adding much-needed steel, giving Captain Anna Dillon a free role.
This paid off with just over a minute played. Hattie Castle pushed a through-ball for Dillon to collect and race clear from the back-four, goalkeeper Hannah Keggin came off her line but the Corinthians’ Captain got their first, poked her effort into the net.
With both sides testing the footballing waters with some probing balls, Jade Burden drove a low shot straight at Keggin. Rebecca Cole was the best attacking outlet for Royal, it was no surprise she was involved in their equaliser.
Cole’s corner was met by Donna Shimmin’s leap, Sarah Breen collected, her lay-off deflected off Jade Burden legs, Helen Thomas tried to clear the danger, slicing the ball into her own goal.
As the match approached half-time, Corinthians netted again which proved psychological, laying the important stepping stone to victory. Following a counter, Kiera Morgan’s diagonal cross-field ball released Burden, sprinted to the bye-line evading a sliding tackle, drove an acute angled shot into the onion bag.
Nine minutes played after the break, it was 3-1, Thomas’s cross was half-cleared into Morgan’s path, who volleyed the ball into the net.
Their fourth goal, five minutes later was trade-mark Dillon. Collecting a clearance, she weaved past two players, unleashed a speculative shot, hitting the crossbar before bouncing over the line for a brilliant, individual goal.
With Casey Halsall excelling within the Corinthians’ back-line, nullifying the Royal attacks, four soon became five. Castle nudged another through-ball, this time releasing Morgan, guided her effort past the onrushing goalkeeper for an accomplished finish.
Castle was the next player to get on the scoresheet after she was tackled from behind in the penalty and a spot-kick was awarded. The former DHSOB player coolly sunk her effort to the right-hand side of the target for their sixth.
Thomas completed the rout after collecting a sliced clearance on the right, side-stepped a defender, drilled home an angled shot. She made a little piece of Manx footballing history by becoming the first player to score for both teams in a Flood-lit cup final.
Medals were presented by the IOMFA Women’s Football Development Officer Michael Baker.
Douglas Royal were missing key personnel from their squad, must regroup and bounce back quickly, starting with a league match against title challengers Gymnasium this Sunday.
Power shift over Ballafletcher? No chance!
Corinthians: Rose Ozga, Leonie Roberts, Casey Halsall, Stephanie Hall, Jenna McStay, Hattie Castle, Anna Dillon (Captain), Helen Thomas, Jade Burden, Shelley Simpson, Lisa Costain
Subs used: Anna Shaw, Kiera Morgan, Chloe Fick Not used: Zoe McCann, Sarah Kerford
Douglas Royal: Hannah Keggin, Andrea Lace, Kerry Lockwood, Bekkie Colquitt, Rebecca Cole, Kym Hicklin (Captain), Donna Shimmin, Becci Pate, Sarah Breen, Angela Waite, Leanne Quayle
Sub used: Orna McMcKeever Not used: Jenni Bruce
Referee: Jo Hicks
Assistants: Billy Crowe, Gerry Thomson
Player of the match: Morgan (Corinthians)
Match rating: *****(out of five)