Morecambe Ladies’ continued their rapid rise up the women’s football pyramid with another title triumph.
The Shrimpettes held their nerve with two victories at Burnley on Sunday to win the North West Women’s Regional Premier Division in just their second season in the league.
They now move into the third tier of women’s football and the Northern Combination, set to be renamed the Championship, after sealing what manager Nick Barrett and founder and player Sophie Fish described as the Lancaster and Morecambe College based club’s greatest ever achievement.
Barrett, the sports centre manager at the college, said: “For me and Sophie this promotion is massive. “We’ve been involved for eight or nine years and this is what we’ve been aiming for.
“Bar one or two positions we’ve probably got the strongest team we’ve ever had.
“We had a few nervy games over the last couple of weeks and it’s just great to come through it all and win the league.”
The ladies had an excellent run to the third round of the FA Cup last year as they narrowly missed out on back-to-back promotions.
But Barrett believes that not only is this league title their greatest triumph yet but things could get even better.
He said: “This surpasses what we achieved in the FA Cup last season.
“We seem to be getting better year on and year and there’s great potential if we’re able to get better players down.”
Fish, who plays as well as helping behind the scenes, admitted the promotion was ahead of schedule.
She said: “We didn’t think it would happen this quickly.
“It’s only our second year in the division.
“And we’ve beaten three in the league above in the FA Cup.”
The ladies lost just one of their 20 games this season with striker Megan Doherty scoring an astonishing 90 goals.
The star striker missed the end of last season as Morecambe’s title challenge faltered but was unstoppable this time around.
Barrett said: “We lost Megan last year to a ligament injury and fell away. But we’ve kept her fit this year and she’s scored 90 plus goals.
“She’s been incredible. If you take that out of the team it would make a massive difference.”
The season isn’t over for the ladies who play Crewe in their league cup final at Bootle FC on bank holiday Monday, May 5, in what could prove to be the icing on the cake.
Barrett said: “The cup final is a bonus.
“We’ve beaten Crewe twice in the league and so we don’t have any worries about them being better than us.
“We know on our day we can beat anyone in this league.
“Hopefully we can go out and enjoy the day.”
The club itself is going from strength to strength on and off the field.
Around 60 players, mostly from the Lancaster and Morecambe area, signed up for the season as the club introduced a second team.
The style of football isn’t bad either, despite the stereotypes about women’s football.
Barrett said: “People who come down to watch are surprised by the quality of the football.
“We just pass, pass, pass and spring when we get the chance. You get teams who play long ball but that isn’t us.
“We try and play the right way.”