Potential pointers? A report on Isle of Man women’s semi-final victory ahead of Friday’s showpiece game against Ynys MÔN

Isle of Man (red) on the attack against Hitra. Pic: Aled Jones

Reporter Tomos Jones had a good look at the Isle of Man, Ynys Môn’s opponents in Friday’s final, as they swept aside Hitra in the semis

Inter-Island Games women’s tournament semi-final
Isle of Man 5 (Corkish, Gawne, Burden, Halsall, Wignall)
Hitra 1 (Jorgenson)

The Isle of Man women have made it to successive Island Games football finals for the first time in their history after coming from behind to comprehensively beat Hitra 5-1 at Lôn Groes, Gaerwen.

The Manx were dictating the tempo of the game before against the run of play in the 21st minute Hitra took the lead after a moment to forget for keeper Kerri Williams.

After a poor long ball from the Norwegians, it looked like Williams would clear her lines easily, but she was indecisive and Kristin Jørgensen closed her down, making no mistake in slotting into the back of the net. 

IoM soon levelled through Becky Corkish and nearly took the lead when Ellie Gawne’s effort was well saved by Hitra goalkeeper Natalia Grøntvedt. 

The Manx maidens did edge ahead just before half time and the brilliant Sarah Wignall was at the heart of it. 

After producing great trickery on the left, Wignall was fouled by Nina Antonsen. Gawne stood over the ball and curled the free kick effortlessly over the wall into the top left corner to make it 2-1 at the break.

Hitra wanted to improve on their best-ever finishing position in the competition of third and they came out in the second half looking a lot more bright.

The Scandinavians had a great support and the fans were chanting encouraging songs, but the Manx started to regain their grip on the semi and extended their lead to 3-1 thanks to a Jade Burden header. 

Isle of Man (red) look to close down a Hitra shot. Pic: Aled Jones

Hitra thought they should have had a penalty when Lina Selvåg was challenged in the box by Sarah O’Reilly, but referee Martin Roberts waved play on. 

Isle of Man secured the victory with a fourth goal in the 86th minute. 

Gawne once again worked hard to regain possession and was rewarded with an assist after feeding an excellent through ball to Wignall, who notched her third goal in as many games in the competition. 

Substitute Casey Halsall completed the rout when she won the ball in the middle of the park and beat keeper Grøntvedt from 40 yards.

Tomos’ verdict: A very one-sided affair, although Hitra did give their all throughout the 90 minutes. Standout player was the Manx’s Sarah Wignall. Excellent ball control with blistering pace causing all sort of problems for Hitra’s backline.

Isle of Man: Kerri Williams, Jade Burden, Holly Sumner, Sarah Wignall, Tia Lisy, Becky Corkish, Ellie Gawne, Becky Abbott, Sarah O’Reilly, Kayleigh Georgson, Kym Hicklin (captain).

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