The Ladies had to beat Aland by 3 goals and hope that the Western Isles did not win against Ynys Mon by more than 4 goals.
It has to rank one of the greatest, if not, the greatest performance from an Isle of Man Women’s team, when they defeated Aland 3-0 at Dalheim, Gotland in the NatWest Island Games.
The Manx had met the Scandinavian side on five previous occasions and have never beaten them in each of those meetings.
It was a highly-organised performance from the Isle of Man, based of work ethic, high-tempo, dominating and closing down their opponents at every opportunity, the Manx could have easily added to their tally.
The Manx took the lead on 27 minutes, Eleanor Gawne’s corner found the head of Kym Hicklin to direct her header into the net to give the side a deserved lead.
With 49 minutes on the clock, the Isle of Man doubled their lead. Following a clever passing move, the ball was passed wide on the right to Gawne, her cross found the head of Jade Burden to direct her effort into the goal and score her first goal of this year’s Games and nine goals in total within this competition.
The Manx got their deserved third on 72m. Following an intricate move engineered along the left, Wignall worked a one-two with Alex Honour, the former passed inside across the six yard box, Jade Burden charged in to place home her effort.
Buoyed on and cheered by members of their men squad in the closing stages, the Manx held on to clinch a memorable victory once the final whistle had blown and send the Manx in celebratory delirium, finishing as group winners as the Western Isles could only manage a 4-1 win against Ynys Mon.
The Ladies will now face the Isle of Wight tomorrow (Thursday) k.o. 1pm (12pm BST).
IOM v Aland: Kayleigh Greggor, Shannon Groves, Kym Hicklin (Captain), Sarah O’Reilly, Casey Halsall, Sarah Wignall, Anna Dillon, Beck Corkish (Holly Sumner 55m), Lisa Costain (Alex Honour 63m), Eleanor Gawne, Jade Burden (Chloe Teare 93m)
Report by Paul Hatton
Final Group Standings
Well done to the Girls, an incredible result!!
Good luck tomorrow!
Photo by Paul Hatton