Newly-crowned champs’ victory overshadowed by injury to Lewes Ladies’ McIntyre

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NEWLY-CROWNED league champions Lewes Ladies beat celebrated in style with a 5-1 win over title rivals Enfield Town at the Dripping Pan on Sunday – but the afternoon was overshadowed by a shocking injury to Rooks left back Katie McIntyre, which saw her being treated on the pitch before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

The game was just over an hour old when the defender collapsed to the ground after a headed challenge.

As the defender drifted in and out of consciousness teammates anxiously waved for assistance from the sidelines.

The match was delayed for some 30 minutes following initial treatment from the club medical staff after which a paramedic and then ambulance crew drove onto the pitch to assist the stricken player who was then taken to hospital. Thankfully she was later released from hospital.

Speaking on Wednesday, her team manager, Jacquie Agnew said McIntyre was feeling better, adding, “she still has a sore head and hopes to go back to work Thursday.”

Back to the game and, despite the difficult circumstances, both teams decided to continue the game, which restarted with the score at 2-1 to Lewes.

The Rooks had earlier come out onto the pitch through an Enfield guard of honour but the goodwill ended there as they conceded an early goal after being punished for not clearing their lines.

Naomi Cole’s twice-taken penalty soon levelled the scoreline, before Lel Smith put Lewes ahead just after half time, the strike being the Rookette’s 100th league goal – scored in just 18 games.

Then, after the injury delay, Lewes showed great professionalism to turn up the heat, with sub Andrea Veiga managing to curl a shot in as she fell and Cole adding a second, before Holly Grogan eagerly snapped up the fifth.

Lewes remain unbeaten in the league and have a week off before their last home game against Cambridge Ladies, on Sunday April 1 – when they will become the proud recipients of the Women’s South East Combination League trophy. Entry is free for that match and all Lewes FC fans are welcome to help Lewes Ladies celebrate their remarkable season which is still to feature a cup final with Eastbourne Town, on April 18.

LEWES Ladies lost the Sussex Cup Final 3-1 to Brighton & Hove Albion at Lancing last Thursday night (March 15).

The Seagulls won the right to be called Sussex Champions with a disciplined performance – and they took control from the start when, in the eighth minute, Sarah Hinton slid in a right wing cross.

At that stage the Rooks looked ragged and disjointed – but they soon got themselves together with Jo Gardiner poking in a long free kick in the 27th minute.

The rest of the half was fairly even with neither side able to wrestle the advantage, until 10 minutes into the second half when an incisive through ball from Rebecca Thompson allowed Hinton to steal a march on the Rooks defence and put Brighton back in the lead.

Lewes struggled to get back into it and as they pushed forward for another equaliser. However, Kim Whitcombe’s clever header for Albion in the 77th minute all but sealed the Rooks’ fate, and despite a spirited fightback in the last 10 minutes, the Rooks couldn’t find the two goals to take the final into overtime.