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There is a feeling of unfinished business within Corinthians. Runners-up in the Floodlit Cup, FA Cup, Charity Shield and the league, the Whites will be looking to go one step further this season and major silverware could become a reality this season for Corinthians after defeating a battling Gymnasium 5-0 in the Isle of Man Floodlit Cup semi finals at the Douglas NSC.
Nerves clearly got the better of Corinthians as, from the outset Gymnasium, bustling for possession and proving they were going to be no pushovers, Suzie Maiden providing a useful attacking outlet on the right But the nerves were soon eased with the opening goal. A defensive mix-up saw Voirrey Holmes react to the danger, teeing up Leonie Roberts to finish with a low drive.
Buoyed by this, Corinthians settled in their stride as this cup tie had a real blood-and-guts feel with the Whites going on the offensive, Gymnasium defending admirably for long spells, midfielders coming to assist their back line with Kim Carney on more than one occasion putting in a few telling challenges. Lucy Kinrade came close, flashing an effort past the upright following a short corner and Roberts had a goal ruled out for an infringement.
Two minutes from the restart, a place in the final became more of a reality for the Whites by scoring their second. Thomas curled in a corner from the left and O'Reilly attacked the space to send a bullet header into the back of the net.
But despite Gymnasium's best efforts, they eventually submitted to a late flurry of goal activity. After breaking up a Gymnasium attack involving Dawn Quinn, Corinthians turned defence into attack and Zoe McCann's pass found Roberts to place her angled shot into the bottom right corner. On 65 minutes, the Tromode defence was guilty of hesitation and paid the price, Holmes seizing on this before firing home their fourth.
With three minutes remaining, Anna Quayle showed excellent vision, her through ball opening up the Gymns' defence to find Roberts in acres in space, where she drove a powerful shot that was parried by Winterton, but made sure by tucking away the rebound.
In the other semi final, Douglas Royal reached their fourth cup final at the expense of over their traditional rivals Rushen Utd 9-2. Statistically, this result makes uncomfortable reading for the southerners. It was the biggest defeat suffered by the holders of this competition, the biggest defeat at the semi final stage, a record defeat for Rushen Utd in the Floodlit Cup and their second heaviest defeat ever! The only victory Rushen Utd could claim from this fixture was they stopped Royals getting double figures, which they so easily could have after taking a 7-1 lead come half time.
From the onset, Royal wanted this victory more by their organisation and preparation, following their manager Brian Cowin's instructions to the letter. Although Eleanor Gawne drove an angled drive straight at Kerri Williams raised arms, no-one could have ever predicted about what was to unfold. It only took three minutes to open the Royals' account as Donna Shimmin cut in from the right and confusion at the near post involving Rose Ozga and Siobhan Lockwood saw Sam MacDonald charged to tap home and point to the skies before being congratulated.
Missing striker Ceri Purvis through a back injury, they found the perfect attacking foil in Siobhan Lockwood as cracks started to appear regularly in the Rushen back line, scoring four goals within 20 minutes. The New Zealander notched her second with an oblique drive and pushed home another effort to make it 3-0 moments later.
Captain Kym Hicklin smashed a speculative strike against the post but this did not deter the Whites. Bekki Cole then crossed from the right for Siobhan Lockwood to poke home at the near post to make it 4-0 and with the patched-up Rushen Utd back line in defensive disarray, Shimmin exploited this with her pace tucking home their fifth and sheturned provider again, cutting in from right again, setting up Lockwood to tap home an easy chance at the far post.
Rushen did pull a goal back, Donna Harrison thrusting into the roof of the net from close range following Gawne's corner but Royal restored their six goal cushion before half time, Shimmin again capitalising a ball over the top before slotting home leaving everyone at the NSC jaw-dropped at the half time whistle.
Rushen Utd did find the net again soon after the break, a fine solo effort from Gawne before slotting home at the bottom left corner. Yet Royals came back for more, Bekki Cole cutting in from the right and setting up Shimmin to convert at the far post. Shimmin completed the rout before full time when she yet again raced clear from the back-line, Ozga did well to parry the first attempt but the Royal striker followed up to make sure.
(Report - Paul Hatton)
Photo - Corinthians' Voirrey Holmes (white shirt) races clear down the flank and away from the Gymnasium defence.
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