Never let anyone tell you women’s football lacks the passion of the men’s game.
Just take a look at the stream of messages and photographs at Twitter and elsewhere marking the fabulous achievement of SAFC Ladies in taking the Women’s Super League 2 title at the first attempt, having previously and unpardonably been excluded when the WSL was formed.
Malcolm Dawson, Salut! Sunderland‘s deputy editor, rightly posted a short tribute to the girls once he saw that they had done all that was needed, beating Millwall Lionesses in the final game on Sunday. Our ace illustrator Jake has added his own salute, seen above.
We all knew only a win would suffice – Doncaster Belles, their rivals for promotion, were at bottom-placed London Bees where a 9-0 away win was surprising only in being close to the sort of margin SAFC men’s team know only too well.
The unchallenging nature of the Belles’ last game meant all the pressure was on Sunderland but our Lasses responded with an emphatic victory of their own, winning 4-0 at the Den.
Thank you all for your messages and congratulations and a huge thank you to @millwalllioness for their fantastic hospitality.
— SAFC Ladies (@SAFCLadies) October 26, 2014
There is fair amount of sports(wo)manship around in this league, too.
The Doncaster girls were quick to add their own congratulations.
— DRBLFC (@donnybelles) October 26, 2014
As many readers know, Monsieur Salut is familiar with the women’s game at a lower level. Younger daughter Nathalie plays for Old Actonians who are doing well in their own league, the London & South East Regional League, Premier division.
They should have advanced in the women’s FA Cup, too, losing on penalties to Maidenhead after being robbed of a proper penalty when leading 2-1.
Jake captures the moment Nathalie pleads for justice after being clearly upended – as Maidenhead’s maidens admitted afterwards – in the box …
Nathalie was born and lives at the wrong end of the country to have been a contender for SAFC Ladies, though her debut at senior level was in red and white stripes (Brentford’s). Her dad can only dream that Sunday’s game really ended Millwall Lionesses 0 SAFC Ladies 5, with Kelly McDougall, Rachel Furness, Keira Ramshaw, Abbey Joice and Nathalie Randall the scorers. But what a pleasure to find Rachel among those hitting the net (see her magnificent response to mild criticism from Pete Sixsmith in a comment at https://safc.blog/2014/10/sixers-way-with-the-ladies-as-doncaster-belles-stall-sunderlands-impressive-march/#comments
— SAFC Ladies (@SAFCLadies) October 27, 2014
But Ha’way the Lasses for putting smiles back on Sunderland-supporting faces. And good luck in the top flight.
* Check out the SAFC Ladies’ own website at http://sunderland.fawsl.com/index.html
Vote for Salut! Sunderland in the Football Blogging Awards: see https://safc.blog/2014/09/football-blogging-awards-make-your-yes-vote-count-for-salut-sunderland/for details