Harpenden ladies seal league title triumph

Champagne celebrations following win over Wapping IIs

AFTER a fantastic team performance on Saturday, the Harpenden Ladies’ first team sealed the Division 2SW league title with a 3-1 win over second place rivals Wapping IIs.

Harpenden started the match brightly despite what was at stake, and it didn’t take long for them to take the lead when Julie Power converted Anna Page’s short corner. The score remained 1-0 until half-time, but after the interval Harpenden continued to press in search of a second.

And it duly arrived through top-scorer Natalie Barton, who took her season tally to 15 goals in 17 matches.

Wapping struggled to provide any threat going forward thanks to a solid Harpenden back-line fronted by sweeper Laura Pendleton. But one sly short corner late in the second half saw Wapping pull a goal back to crank up the pressure in the dying stages.

However, professionalism from the back ensured Harpenden were never going to relinquish their advantage, and Player of the Match Lucy Fogarty’s strike in the final minutes relieved any concern of a Wapping fightback, to seal the league title for her side.

Coach, Jane Hurt and captain Anna Page have played pivotal roles in the Harpenden Ladies side for the 2011/12 season, helping the team convincingly win 16 of their 19 league games – a success the club hasn’t had in recent history.

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Commenting on the season, Jane Hurt said: “Winning the league is a credit to the whole team. A season of intense fitness and skills has been incremental to their performance throughout the season – which is inevitable through the results.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the commitment of all the players and delighted to have helped get them to this position in my first season in charge.”