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HISTORY OF PENZANCE LADIES FOOTBALL CLUB
Penzance LFC was formed in 1999 when the Truro City side had to find a new base and were welcomed in at Penlee Park. But the club itself was formed way back in 1978 as Redruth Youth Club. They moved to Illogan in 1979 and won many trophies under that name, including the Women’s South West League Championship (not to be confused with the current league). Illogan reached the quater-finals of the WFA Cup in 1982 before losing to Rowntrees of York, who supplied many players to Doncaster Belles the following season. In 1986 the club moved on to Truro City, winning the Western League title at the first attempt. The club remained at Truro until the nucleus of that side moved down to Penzance. The first season at Penlee Park proved a difficult one and only victory at home to Barnstaple Town on the final day ensured the Magpies stayed up. The club is organising bingo loto draws for our fans and supporters, that is handled by one of the premium online bingo sites, so check out our contact page and get in touch if you want to take part of it.
2007-8: THREE TITLES & TWO CUPS WON
Season 2007-8 became the club’s most successful to date, with three teams contributing to a haul of five trophies. The Reserves and Under-12s completed league & cup doubles, while the 1st team won promotion to the South West Combination for the first time.
Jeff Rowe’s U12s won the Kernow Girls Premier Division in their first league season, only once being denied victory. They all move up to the U14s next term, with a new batch of U12s also coming through.
The Reserves finished champions of Jaipur Cornwall League Division 3 and also won the Kimmins Cup Final. They even reached the League Cup semi-finals, before bowing out 6-3 to the league champions. With squad improvements expected and other promising players progressing from the U16s, Mike Kearon has every chance of taking the team to further successes.
The 1st team were eventually crowned South West League champions, after an agonising five-week wait to discover whether they had done enough to take the title ahead of their challengers. Managers Bert Lawrence and Christian Lett had seen their side get off to a flier, not only with hefty pre-season victories and nine straight league wins but with a free-scoring flair that had topped one hundred goals by mid-October.
A telling point had been the FA Women’s Cup clash at Cullompton, where Penzance won through on penalties, having played an hour with the team reduced to ten through injury. The level of fitness achieved by the squad continued to pay dividends through the season.
But the blip in the season began when a crucial 2-0 lead was let slip at second-placed Cullompton and successive defeats to Cheltenham blew the title race wide open. With all sorts of permutations now possible, Penzance kept themselves in with a decent chance of the championship, as they returned to form for their last game, defeating Cullompton 2-0. Teenage-striker Rose Knuckey came off the bench to score both goals, finishing as the team’s top scorer in her first season of regional league football. With Penzance having done all they could, the position at the top was that the title would be coming to West Cornwall, unless Cheltenham could not just win their last three games but add thirteen to their goal-difference in the process.
Despite the frustration, the delays in Cheltenham playing could well have worked in the leaders favour. When finally the Gloucestershire side’s cup tie with Filton College was played, they were thrashed 8-0, then the following week held 1-1 by local rivals Gloucester City. elebrations could at last begin for Penzance and plans for next season, plus fundraising for the long-distance trips and inevitable overnight stays.
2006-7: TITLE HOPES FADE, RESERVES GO DOWN, GIRLS TEAMS FORMED
A summer exodus that included top-scorer Katy Barker and Dani Barr, followed by a disjointed opening day 3-0 home defeat to Yeovil, made for a disappointing start. But that additions of Amber Grose, Sammi Platts and Candice Britten, plus the promotion of Linda Webb to the first team, helped bring a winning streak which included another good FA Cup run to swell the coffers. The run ended at Forest Green Rovers but another Combination side was defeated, as the Magpies thrillingly overturned a 2-0 deficit to defeat Swindon Town in extra-time. The victory was evidence of a strength and resilience that new coach and fitness instructor, Christian Lett, had helped install in the side. Expectations rose, away wins were accumulated and Penzance found the leading clubs were very much within their grasp. With the Pat Sowden Trophy final venue set for Saltash, there was a great opportunity to retain the cup in Cornwall. But leaders Yeovil stood in the way in the last eight and only edged out Penzance 8-7 on penalties, whose gutsy performance was another level of achievement, when previously they would have long since succumbed to a barrage of dead-ball situations. But Leanne Harvey sustained another long-term injury and the University of Bristol presented a pre-Christmas banana skin, as the students went home with a 1-0 win. Penzance bounced back in the new year, later recording a superb 4-3 win at Gloucester City after the bare eleven who travelled twice came from behind. Just the sort of eyebrow-raising result needed to be serious title challengers. Into March and with games in hand on the leading pair, the scene was set for a tense run-in, where every game became a cup final. Vital wins on the road led up to a showdown at Yeovil, in the hosts’ last game, where anything but a defeat would suit the Magpies. However, defeat it was and the title chance was gone. A shock 5-0 home reverse to Gloucester wound up the tension for the runners-up spot clashes with Cullompton. The home game was goalless somehow, with both teams having one sent-off. Then with a win needed in the midweek return, the Magpies lost 2-1 and had to settle for a fourth place finish.
The Reserves endured a difficult season, firstly low in numbers but also badly hit by injuries. Even so, some good results were achieved, although new manager Danny Turner didn’t last the distance and Mike Kearon took over. A crucial relegation clash at home to Stoke Cimsland was lost, and on top of conceded matches, left them in the relegation zone, with the prospect of dropping into Division 3. Despite the disappointments, hope is high for a successful 2007-8, with several promising young players set to join, plus more soon to move up from the girls’ section.
The youth section was launched in July, with a very successful Fun Day attracting 50 girls. Weekly coaching sessions followed, with up to 25 at each, and their very first matches followed in December. The U12s and U15s played their counterparts from Truro at Camborne College, losing 3-0 and 8-3, but the games were hugely enjoyed by all. A Youth match against much more experienced Irish visitors, Ballincolling, was staged at Penlee Park at Easter. Despite an 8-0 loss, the young Magpies showed much promise, improving markedly as the game went on. It is intended to enter teams into leagues for the new season.
TWO CUP FINALS IN 2005-6
The 2005-6 campaign saw the Magpies reach two cup finals and a further semi-final, although they had to settle for just their first Pat Sowden Trophy success in 13 years, beating Gloucester City 2-1 at Weston Super Mare FC. Penzance were runners-up in the Premier Division Cup to Team Bath, and lost 5-2 to Newquay in the Cornwall Cup Final, watched by 200 spectators at Penryn FC. Fourth place in the Premier was secured with a last minute leveller at Team Bath and Katy Barker claimed the league’s top scorer award with 27 goals. Combination side Clevedon Town were knocked out of the FA Women’s Cup, before a 2nd round exit at Hereford Pegasus. The Reserves also finishing fouth in the Jaipur Cornwall League Div.2 West…having been looking at a top two finish for most of the season. Linda Webb top scored with 24 goals in her first year. The application for a Football Foundation grant to establish a girls’ section brought an offer of £3,500 over three years.
YOUTHFUL MAGPIES FINISH 3rd IN 2003-4
Despite fielding their youngest ever squad, the Magpies made a flying start to the 2003-4 campaign, apart from Sam Parker beraking her leg before the big kick-off! The season began with Newquay at home in the FA Cup, a tremendous 3-1 victory setting Penzance on a profitable cup run. This included an away win at Combination side, Yeovil Town, before an unfortunate 2-1 extra-time home loss to Forest Green Rovers, having led 1-0 with 7 minutes left. The cup exit brought about a dive, with hopes of silverware falling one after the other and a long spell at the top of the league brought to an end. The Magpies rallied but results were still very mixed and having seen promotion dreams dented, it became a battle to chase the runners-up spot. Third-place was secured with a fine 3-2 win over Buckfastleigh and with the club able to field 23 players in a friendly, the long-awaited reserve team seems to have arrived. The first silverware arrived, winning the Cheltenham Town Tournie, before victory over Newquay in the Penzance 6s. The season ended with a draw and a win against Cuxhaven in Germany.
FIFTH AGAIN IN 2002-3
Fifth place was the end result in the 2002-3 campaign, which began with a rush of goals from the returning Tracey Burley. Holly Sandow was soon back too and hitting the net regularly, with Katie Barker rising up the goalscoring charts later on. Several of the side featured in Cornwall’s fine first county championship season. New players Becky Lawrence, Louise Allen and Lauren Hosking have settled well, Lauren hitting her first goals with a brace against Penryn. Bert Lawrence took over as manager mid-season from Wayne House. Newquay accounted for the Magpies in two cups again, but in ties that proved much closer. There was a disappointing end to the Pat Sowden Cup run, losing at home to Bristol City Reserves. Although numbers were often short for away games, some good results were still achieved, with 2 wins in Wales and also three draws on the road. The most remarkable coming at Bath after being 4-1 down and two players down! Biggest win was the 12-0 county cup result away to Porthleven, heaviest defeat the 11-2 drubbing at champions Forest Green Rovers. On of the dafter days was when a detour to Exeter hospital was required as minibus driver Kevin Williams could not continue due to back problems. He was picked up on the way back from the 450 mile round trip to Cheltenham. A bigger squad is now hoped for in time for the new season, which will see an U14 girls team board, may be U12s too, as part of the Active Sports programme.
LONG UNBEATEN RUN IN 2001-2
The third year at Penlee Park was perhaps the best to date, although finishing lower than last year in a very tight mid-table. Having lost the first six competitive fixtures, a great turnaround and long unbeaten run was witnessed. Ten games without defeat were followed by a close 1-0 loss at Marjons, having lost the home fixture 7-0. A goalkeeper was at last found in Jackie Teague, a new manager in Wayne House, Lindsey Williams adapted well in defence, Leanne Pearson was back after a year of injury and Holly Sandow provided many of the team’s goals. The Magpies were also delighted to have Danni Barr and Katie Barker more available, with others also dual-signing. Progress was made in cup competitions, falling at the semi-final stage in both county and Pat Sowden Cups. The Chairman’s Cup provided an additional opportunity for silverware but all three group games were lost.
FIFTH-PLACE FINISH IN 2000-1
The 2000-1 campaign began without manager Ronnie Barr who had just resigned, Poppet Payne taking over. A bright start was made with a run of victories but after Leanne Pearson’s broken leg at Newton Abbot, the season took a dive. Soon without a manager again, Penzance slipped into the relegation zone but eventually made the most of games in hand to pull clear of danger. A 5-3 win on the final day against Bath City propelled Penzance into a fifth placed finish.