Priestley hits a hat-trick in Clarets’ Lancashire Cup romp

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Burnley FC Women continued their unbeaten start to the season as they eased past Hindley Juniors in the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup.

There is no seeding or grading for the teams that enter, and so they all go into the hat for the preliminary round draw.

In this case, the majority of teams got a bye and will not compete until the next stage.

Hindley Women have only competed for a couple of seasons and have worked their way through the Lancashire FA Women’s Leagues to the Premier Division, at step 7 of the women’s football pyramid.

Burnley FC Women now compete at step 3, and with home advantage were expected to easily defeat the ambitious fledglings.

In the end a nine-goal win was plenty enough for the Clarets, but it was not all plain sailing.

Hindley showed they could play some smart football at times, and in the early stages were able to push the Clarets into a defensive position.

And with well-struck shots drifting marginally off target, they showed they meant business.

The Clarets’ first goal was struck home by young winger Sarah Agger on eight minutes, and soon a brace from Kelly Halligan followed.

The Hindley keeper Laura Swindles would deny many attempts in a top-notch display.

But further goals by Kerry Hope, Levi Rathburn, Sarah Greenhalgh and Evie Priestley – who completed her hattrick in the 88th minute – paved the way for the Clarets passage into the next round.

On Sunday, the Clarets Women travel up to Sunderland to compete in the FA Women’s National League Cup against Sunderland.

Sunderland are currently top of the FA Women’s National League North, three points ahead of the Clarets, who sit in third place but have a game in hand.

Sunderland’s start to the season has certainly been the strongest in the league, so the cup game will give the Carets a good opportunity to assess the current league contenders.

* Sarah Greenhalgh is in contention to take the honours for the Women’s Player of the Season at the 2019 Ladbrokes Northwest Football Awards.

The striker will challenge the likes of Jess Holbrook of Blackburn, Simone Magill of Everton, Laura Merrin of Fylde, Sophie Bradley-Auckland of Liverpool, Steph Houghton of Manchester City and Katie Zelem of Manchester United for the silverware.

And Evie Priestley has been named in the Women’s Rising Star category alongside Blackburn Rovers Ladies’ Natasha Flint, Elise Hughes of Everton, Fylde Ladies’ Georgia Stevens, Liverpool FC’s Amy Rodgers and Manchester City’s Georgia Stanway.

Fans can now cast their votes ahead of the awards, which will be announced at the 2019 Ladbrokes Northwest Football Awards at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford, on Monday, November 11th.

This year’s ceremony marks the 12th year of recognising the best talent of the beautiful game in the region.

Laura Wolfe, speaking on behalf of the Ladbrokes Northwest Football Awards, said: “The player and fan media channel nominations for the 2019 Ladbrokes Northwest Football Awards showcase the immense hotbed of talent that exists in both the women’s and men’s games across our region.

“We are looking forward to another fantastic evening on Monday, November 11th.”

Burnley midfielder Ashley Westwood and teenage winger Dwight McNeil have also been shortlisted for awards.

Fans can cast their votes now at: http://www.northwestfootballawards.com/northwest-football-awards-2018/vote-nwfa-2019/