Ladies Football

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               PSUK  Ladies National Football Championships 2014.

           Congratulations to Merseyside Police Ladies Football team who won the first official
            PSUK Championship over the weekend of 26th / 27th April, at Westminster Park, Chester.
                             Merseyside  -2-      Scotland  -1-
What a weekend it was, as you can imagine with only forming summer last year, entering our first tournament was unknown terroritory, not knowing standards of football or the format of the tournament our expectations were not very high.

Basically this was the first official PSUK Ladies Football tournament held this year and 9 forces entered. It was hosted by Cheshire police. The other forces in the tournament were , Cheshire, PSNI, Northumbria, West midlands, The Met, Lancashire, Essex, Scotland West .The format was a league with every force playing each other once, the top two teams on the Sunday playing each other in the final with a squad of 18 players we played 5 games on Saturday 26th April , winning 3 games, drawing one and losing one game. we found by the end of the day sitting on top of the table.
Unfortunately on the Sunday we lost our keeper through injury and 2 other players through other commitments. Despite this we had a Player step into the keeper role and performed the role outstandingly. We then went on to win 2 games on the Sunday and lost one.
We then found ourselves 2nd in the table with Scotland coming top place, therefore we qualified for the final,

We found ourselves playing the favourites Scotland West who had won unofficial force tournaments the previous few years.
The girls came out from the start with fighting spirit but unfortunately Scotland were awarded a dubious penalty in which a ball had hit our defenders hand during attacking play.
Scotland Duely converted the rewarded penalty and were 1-0 up. This didn’t make heads go down and the Merseyside girls continued to battle for every ball and found themselves with numerous shooting opportunities.

One of these was taken by an amazing individual effort from Sheree Thompson who let fly with a shot from outside the area leaving the keeper stranded. Scotland stunned and Merseyside back in the game. 1-1.

After full time normal play the game went to extra time. In the first half a through ball to Nicky Chatterley left the striker making her way past the defenders with her speed and slotting the ball past the Scotland Keeper . Merseyside Police now 2-1 up. with great fight and spirit the whole team fought for every ball frustrating Scotland who didn’t create many other chances.

Final whistle Merseyside Police became the first winners of the official PSUK tournament.
It has to be recognised the achievement of the team in such short period of time, with a borrowed kit from the mens team and equipment funded by ourselves.
We formed good relationships with forces over the tournament with many teams now wanting friendlies.

Also a number of players from Merseyside police were noticed by the GB team coach and will hopefully making the GB squad in the near future.   Player /manager of the team, ” Paula Oldham” ,assisted by “Carla Heyes”,  Treasurer/secretary and Coached by Paula  Oldham & Vicky Buckley

The Squad Was
Paula Oldham  Emma Haffenden   Sheree Thompson    Karen Barker   Nicky Smyth   Vicky Buckley
Tracy O'Hara   Gemma Harper   Nicky Chatterley   Caroline Foy   Emma Jepson   Katy Keane
Carly Conroy   Jodie Unwin   Helen Can   Jo McDermott   Laura Eves   Helen Pagan

Report by Paula Oldham