AFC Rushden & Diamonds Ladies completed the first half of a possible league and cup double when they defeated Thorplands Ladies 4-0 in the Northamptonshire Women’s League Plate Final held at Kiln Park, Raunds on Sunday 14th April.

Goals from Claire Stancliffe, Megan Watkins(2) and Cat Sealey secured the first silverware for an AFC Rushden & Diamonds Senior team, achieved at the end of their first season, to match the achievement of the AFC R&D U18 team who also won silverware in their first season.

The Diamonds Ladies established an early lead after Claire Stancliffe took advantage of the strong wind at Kiln Park to float home a corner. Megan Watkins then pounced on a wind-restricted clearance to fire home from 20 yards, with only 11 minutes on the clock, before adding her second 20 minutes later as she ran past her marker before rounding the keeper and slotting home. The 3-0 lead at half-time was well defended by the Diamonds as they faced the strong wind, and then capped by a fourth goal midway through the second half, when Cat Sealey fired at goal, and although her shot was parried, she was on hand to pick up the loose ball and find the corner of the net.

Diamonds Team: Kerrie Cosham, Natasha Lowe, Emma Morris, Kerry Lawrence (Capt), Elise Young, Alex Bartlett, Claire Stancliffe, Lauren Perkins, April Malin, Cat Sealey, Megan Watkins. Substitutes: Harriet Clarke, Naomi Dwane, Jenna Looker, Kelly Rust, Fiona Strathern.

Goals: Stancliffe (6), Watkins (11, 34), Sealey (68)

Diamonds Player of the Game: Kerry Lawrence.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds Ladies Management Team: Leanne Mayes and Katie Newman

For video match highlights along with the trophy presentation and post-match reaction click here.

The Ladies will now look forward to their vital game next weekend, when victory will seal the NWFL Division 2 Title. That game is against Corby Ladies & Girls on Sunday 21 April at the Dog & Duck, Wellingborough, with the match kicking off at 2pm.

Details of the Ladies’ 2012-13 season to date are here, and season stats are here.

Images courtesy of Mal Swinden ©2013 Malcolm Swinden Photography

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