Vikings march on towards sixth title

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MANX Telecom Vikings A continue their steady march towards a sixth consecutive Wi-Manx Women’s Premier Division title with a comprehensive victory over a spirited Celton Manx Castletown A team that refused to give up.

Town fielded a full-strength team against a Vikings squad missing gamemaker Zoe Carney, but fielding a returning Louise Slater.

The initial breakthrough for Vikings came after seven minutes when Kim Carney slotted the ball past Castletown keeper Denise Harris. But it took only three further minutes until Dani Kelly equalised.

The following 10 minutes saw end-to-end play, although Vikings always seemed to be coming forward in numbers whereas Castletown were relying on moments where individuals could attack on the break.

Vikings’ diligence paid off after 22 minutes when a Kim Carney shot from the top of the D was poached on the line, allowing a rare scoresheet entry for Jen Dougal.

Two more swift goals before half-time from Sarah Breen and Kirsty Cooper put the game out of Town’s reach, but to their enormous credit they didn’t back off and created several opportunities in the second half. Notably, 16-year-old Wallis Rodd demonstrated the reason for her inclusion in the A squad by man-marking the immensely skilled Sarah Blackman.

After another goal each for Kim Carney and Jen Dougal, it was man-of-the-match Blackman who delivered the moment of the game to take the score to 7-1. Having created numerous chances throughout the match, and assisted several previous goals, Blackman took the ball on the left wing from the halfway line, took it past several players, and delivered it from the top of the D straight into the corner of the goal at head height.

Vikings have scored almost twice as many goals as any other team in the women’s premier league, averaging over six a match. It is their ability to attack as a team and the struggle for Castletown to defend these attacks which made the difference in this game.

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