A weekend to celebrate and promote girls’ and women’s football was a great success, with Leeds United Ladies, who play in the Women’s FA Premier League Northern Division, having a joint training session with Mousehole’s own successful Women’s team on Friday evening and hosting a soccer camp for girls aged 6-16 on Saturday morning.  They also found time to visit the Penlee Lifeboat in Newlyn before taking on a Cornwall Women’s representative side in a full-scale match at Mousehole AFC’s Trungle Parc on Saturday afternoon, followed by a social get-together in the clubhouse during the evening.

Above: Leeds United Ladies visited the Penlee Lifeboat during their visit to West Cornwall last weekend (photo by Robin Chiffers)

The event was initiated and organised jointly by Jason Blunt (Mousehole AFC’s Head of Youth & Development and until last June the manager of Leeds United Under-23s), and locally-based David Haigh, former Managing Director of Leeds United.

Watched by a crowd of 215 on a bitterly cold and windy afternoon, Leeds Ladies won the fixture 3-0 with a display of clinical finishing.  Cornwall Women were playing their first game since 2015 but gave a good account of themselves against the visitors, who play regularly together in league and cup matches and have enjoyed a good run of form and results since the new year.

Mousehole’s Lyndsey Mayers made some good saves in goal in an open first half and Cornwall came close on a couple of occasions through Tori Marks and Kerri-Ann Moxon, but it was Leeds who took the lead with the last action before half time.  Amber Hadrill nearly equalised for Cornwall with a long-range free kick but the visitors doubled their lead with a well-worked corner routine and added a third goal late on.

Above: The Leeds United Ladies and Cornwall Women’s captains pose with Referee Derek Hughes and assistants Iain Tucker and David Malone, flanked by four young mascots and ball-girls who had taken part in the morning’s soccer camp

Cornwall Squad:  Alice Bennion, Amber Hadrill, Beth Overton, Chevonne Johanning, Chloe Harris, Kaitlyn Harris, Lauren Bennett, Tori Marks (all Charlestown), Charlotte Whitmore, Sally Salter (both Cornwall ACC), Dani Salt, Faye Ivall (both Plymouth Argyle), Jodie Hood, Laura-Beth Medcalf, Zoe Arundell-Lethbridge (all St. Agnes), Kerri-Ann Moxon (Helston), Lyndsey Mayers (Mousehole), Sara Rowe (Callington)

*Jason Blunt was delighted with the weekend’s activities:  “We are very grateful to the Cornwall FA for their work in preparing this fixture, and to Leeds United Ladies for spending time with us and showing the standards we can aspire to as the girls’ and women’s game develops.  We know they had a great time down here and enjoyed the Cornish hospitality.  The weekend needed a great deal of planning and organisation and once again the club’s hard-working volunteers did a superb job all round.  Let’s hope we can move on to stage similar events in the not-too-distant future.”

Lee Townend, Chairman of Leeds United Ladies, was equally enthusiastic about the success of the weekend visit:  ““It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to Cornwall and a fantastic adventure for our ladies and staff.  Our time at Mousehole AFC could not have been any more perfect – the club’s staff and players, and the Cornwall FA players, were all very professional.  We were looked after in a way that could only be described as amazing.  Jason (Blunt) and all the coaches looked after us ‘above and beyond’, and David Haigh’s hotel at Lamorna Cove was just unbelievable.  Overall, such a beautiful place to visit and rest assured we will be back at some point in the future.”

*Mousehole Women then completed a perfect weekend on Sunday afternoon with a dominant 6-0 win over Penryn Ladies at Trungle Parc in the quarter-finals of the Cornwall Women’s Cup.

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