Sunday 8th September
Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership
The Cambridgeshire Women’s football league got a whole load bigger over the summer as despite the number of league dropping the number of sides competing in them swells dramatically with 10 new names across a 13 strong Premiership (previously 8) and a single Championship boasting 15 sides (previously 12 across a Championship North & South).
Peterborough Northern Star Ladies Reserves move from Northamptonshire to join the Premiership whilst Cambridge City Ladies have added a 3rd women’s side. 4 sides promoted, St Ives Town Ladies Development, Haverhill Rovers Ladies, Ketton Ladies and Leverington Ladies (previously Wisbech Town Ladies). Going to be a competitive league. 10 of the 13 sides in action on the opening weekend.
Winning the Championship North last season, Ketton Ladies began their Premiership campaign with a trip to Histon Ladies Reserves. A strong season to clinch the title going all the way with Wisbech Town Ladies, Ketton got off to a great start scoring 4 goals with last seasons top scorer Fran Kavanagh opening this season with a brace. 47 goals for Kavanagh last season a potent attack with Claire Lawrenson who netted 27 goals. Lawrenson too getting her account opened with a goal along with one for Ellie Marson scoring her 1st for the club. Ketton winning 4-1. Histon’s goal scored by Amanda Binge.
Just as in the Championship North it was a hotly fought title battle in the Championship South with St Ives Town Ladies Development pipping Haverhill Rovers Ladies to the title. Both making their Premiership bow this weekend the pair on the road. Haverhill Rovers taking on Cambridge City Ladies new ‘A’ team. Haverhill entering their 2nd season together looking to push on put in a good performance against Cambridge City’s youngsters. Last season’s top scorer Joeli Kirby opening her account for the season with a goal along with assistant manager Kayleigh Steed plus an own goal securing a 3-1 win.
St Ives Ladies Development matched Haverhill Rovers score winning away to Riverside Ladies on the opening day. Losing heavily in the Women’s FA Cup, Riverside had a few more players available this weekend saw an improved performance, Gabija Pavlova scoring for the hosts, St Ives Town scoring 3 to win the game, Jade Carpenter with a brace along with a goal for Steph Ransome.
A good opening weekend for all the promoted sides with Leverington Ladies completing a quartet of wins. At home were taking on Netherton United Ladies who look to have improved their squad over the summer. Leverington formerly Wisbech Town Ladies, still the @FenLadies also adding to their squad getting off to the better start hitting the crossbar before Sophie Swinden top scorer last season with 43 goals made it 1-0. A slender lead at half-time Netherton improved 2nd half getting back on level terms with Emily Johnson on target. The game could have gone either way at that point, Leverington retaking the lead with Swinden netting a 2nd goal, Netherton pushed from a reply the hosts holding firm to start the season with a win.
A dramatic match to end the Premiership games on the opening day as ICA Sports Ladies and Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds shared 11 goals between them! The visitors seeing last season’s top scorer Marie Stubbing start the season with a brace, so too Ebony Rule returning to the club. Krissie Taylor also on the scoresheet. Fulbourn scoring 5 goals it wasn’t enough to see them take anything from the game as they were undone at the other end for 6. Donna Nicholls scoring a hat-trick, their were goals to celebrate too for Carmen Herridge, Danielle King and Clare Knibbs.
Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship
With the clubs arguing for it the Championship becomes one single league this season to be contested by 15 sides with 8 new sides joining the league, Isleham United Youth Ladies, Newmarket Town Women Development, Deeping United Ladies, Swavesey Spartans Ladies, Eaton Socon Ladies, Cambourne United Women, Haverhill Rovers Ladies Development and Mildenhall Town Ladies. Sad to lose Wisbech St Mary Ladies who were struggling badly towards the end of the season.
On the whole though it was a good opening weekend for the more established clubs some of whom had a tough campaign last time out. The exception being Cambridge Rangers Women, having tough seasons in the past last campaign saw them on the tails of Haverhill Rovers Ladies and St Ives Town for a long spell before finishing 3rd in the Championship South. Began the new season with a trip to newly formed Mildenhall Town Ladies. Good to see the club forming a women’s team after hosting FAWNL side Cambridge Unite WFC for 3 seasons. The Championship a far cry from the FAWNL it proved to be a tough start for Mildenhall fielding the bare 11. Erika Balskute getting a hat-trick on the opening day for Cambridge Rangers. Vanessa Martinez Ramos scoring twice there were goals too for Daniella Lewis and Stephanie Rowan in an 8-0 win.
Cambridge Rangers top of the pile after the opening weekends results but only on alphabetical order as their 8-0 winning scoreline was matched by Park Ladies. Tough going for Park in the Championship South last season the squad certainly got a lift to start the season as they hosted new side Cambourne United Women. Georgia Stimson netting a hat-trick for Park, there was a brace for Demi Newman with Sophie Fenner, Darcie Tegerdine and Francesca Piltsch all getting a goal apiece.
Now I tend to only tag the winning sides in each edition of the Round-Up and it’s with delight I can tag Burwell Tigers Ladies at last as they start the season with victory. Enduring a tough couple of seasons in the Championship South the squad has kept together and were overjoyed to record an opening day victory on Sunday away to new side Eaton Socon Ladies. Admittedly in was a much closer scoreline than the previous two matches with goals from Megan Seabrook, Hannah Dewey and Eve Hedley sealing a 3-2 win, but victory and the 3 points doing wonders for the confidence.
Pinchbeck United Ladies have make some good additions to their squad over the summer and with signs they were improving showing towards the end of last season in the Championship North they got off to a winning start at home to Isleham United Ladies on Sunday in their opening fixture. Courtney Walker scoring a hat-trick to see the match won 3-0.
Better results elsewhere for the new sides joining the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship. Deeping United Ladies beginning the season with an away match against Haverhill Rovers Ladies Development regrouping after being forced to withdraw from the Suffolk Women’s Division last season. Deeping securing the 3 points courtesy of a 2-0 win with Hannah Chapman scoring both goals.
A winning start too for Swavesey Spartans Ladies as they edged the victory at home to Hungate Rovers Ladies on the opening day of the season. Goals from Meadow Wooldridge, Charlotte Frostick and Alexandra Herbert seeing the newcomers win the match 3-2.