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Rochdale Ladies



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Preston North End WFC - The Treble

As a manager your biggest goal at the end of the season is to ensure that the girls have had an enjoyable season playing and that you try and come away with a trophy, but 3 trophies and the girls having an amazing season is something that dreams are made off.

Last season started off in winning ways during pre-season at Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre with the girls winning the competition and coming away £150 better off. Then into the season with a number of FA Cup games, the girls started well getting through to the 2nd round of the FA cup in early October where they were beaten by East Durham (a league higher than us) in extra time 4-2.

The Lancashire Cup saw the team drawn against Oldham in the 2nd round who are two leagues higher than Preston and we came away the surprise winners 2-0 facing a final in March against Blackburn Rovers who where also having a great season not losing any games in the Northern Combination.

The final saw the Preston play some great football taking the lead twice, but Blackburn came out strong in the second half and eventually ran out winner 4-2 in what was a great advert of the women and girls game.

The season in the league had got off to a great start with the girls winning all their games in the league up to Christmas and also playing some amazing football. After Christmas the usual lot of games were cancelled but when we eventually started playing the girls soon got back to winning ways and also started their Cup run’s in both the league and divisional cup.

The team went unbeaten all season in the league and only drew 2 games all season; they scored a total of 87 goals and conceded only 14 goals. The team ended up on 50 points with the nearest team 17 points behind them and secured promotion to the Northern Combination.

Attention then turned to the cups. After getting to both finals the team first faced Rochdale in the league cup at Bamber Bridge, Rochdale who had a great season in the division below going undefeated also but Preston showed there quality and won the game 3-1. The following weekend at Bamber Bridge saw the 3rd final of the year for Preston against Warrington Grange, who now faced the double winning Preston side. Although the game was tight at first, the team were not going to let the chance to have the treble taken off them.

Preston ran out 3-0 winner’s and secured the treble, they are only the second team in the history of the North West Women’s Regional League to complete the treble. The other being Everton who are now in the National Division.

The team is now in training for the season ahead and have strengthened the squad even further with some great summer signings they are looking to have another good season with hopefully the same success.

Rochdale v DARWEN LADIES NWWRFL Premier

Darwen Ladies reporter Date: 14th April 2005
Darwen Ladies gained revenge away at Rochdale on Thursday evening in the NWWRFL Premier league. It was a very entertaining game to watch with both teams determined to compete for the runners up spot in the league.

The opening 10 minutes saw Darwen pushed back by Rochdale who seemed to be winning all the second ball in midfield and Darwen found themselves having to defend several corners. Rochdale should have taken the lead during this period of pressure but a low shot from inside the box seemed to beat keeper Horrocks but slowed up in the mud of the goalmouth allowing Frith to clear the ball.

Darwen then began to make more of a game of it and on 15 minutes a great pass down the right flank by Welsh allowed the overlapping Fleck to deliver a low cross which was met by Craig who clipped the ball into the top corner of the net. Certainly against the run of play and from then on Darwen gained in confidence and began to play some very fine passing football on a quagmire of a pitch. Wallace led the forward line feeding wide balls to left and right where Craig, Fleck and Widdicombe were a constant threat to the Rochdale fullbacks. Welsh, Wallace and Fleck forced good saves out of the Rochdale keeper and with 8 minutes to go to the break and against the run of play again Rochdale made it 1:1. Hesitation in the Darwen defence saw a Rochdale forward take the ball round the adavancing keeper to slot home into an empty net.
Half-time: Rochdale 1 - Darwen Ladies 1
The second half saw Darwen almost score inside the first minute but a smart save from the Rochdale keeper kept the scores equal. Rochdale got no joy trying to come down the Darwen centre as Frith, Ralph and sweeper Wilde cleared everything that came at them. Balls down the flanks were another route trying to use the speed of their England u19's winger but Darwen coach Nick Greenwood had tasked Darwen striker Darby to mark her all game. Using her pace the Rochdale flyer barely managed to break free as she was thwarted by Darby or sweeper Wilde. Even changing wings proved unsuccesful as Darby switched with her.

Darwen created by far the better chances in the second half but the Rochdale keeper looked very steady in her handling and held several shots from Welsh, Wallace,Widdicombe and Ramsden and pushed a block buster of a shot from Darby over the bar.

With 20 minutes to go Darwen made it 2:1 when a defensive slip similar to the Rochdale goal in the first half saw Fleck take the ball wide of the keeper and place her shot into an empty net.

This was a great performance by Darwen and a great team effort from keeper to the forward line. Having lost to Hopwood two weeks before when Darwen only had 10 players and two of those were carrying injuries this was a big morale booster. If Darwen can win their last 3 fixtures then they will finish second in the league but it will be very tough with so many games to play so quickly.
Final score: Rochdale 1 Darwen Ladies 2
About Darwen Ladies
Darwen (between Blackburn and Bolton) have been the most successful girls and ladies club in the North West in the last 4 seasons. Lancashire league champions at U14's twice, U14 Cup runners-up twice, U16's cup winners twice and U16's league runners up. The ladies have had 3 successive promotions as champions in the North West Women's Regional League and now play in the Premier division. Everton, Preston, Manchester United or Burnley don't come close to that record.

New players - junior or senior are welcome with a Development / Reserve team playing in the Lancashire County league. Contact Club Secretary - Peter Arbuary on 07803-001289
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Interested in joining? Email the Club - darwenlfc@hotmail.com.

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