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Caley Thistle Women seek to follow Montrose’s path to Championship North glory

Kirsty Deans celebrates her goal for Caley Thistle Women against Westdyke. Picture supplied by Peter Paul/caleyjags.com
Kirsty Deans celebrates her goal for Caley Thistle Women against Westdyke. Picture supplied by Peter Paul/caleyjags.com

Karen Mason wants her Caley Thistle Women to regroup and follow Championship North winners Montrose to promotion glory in 2023.

On Sunday, goals from Kirsty Deans and Kayleigh Mackenzie secured a 2-0 Inverness win against Westdyke at the Caledonian Stadium.

Fourth-placed Inverness finished three points behind Championship Cup winners Dryburgh Athletic and five points adrift of runners-up East Fife.

Runaway champions Montrose won 19 of their 20 fixtures, with their only dropped points being when they were held 1-1 in Inverness last month.

Consistency key for boss Mason

ICT manager Mason insists too many slip-ups have been costly to the Highlanders and explained they aim to improve upon that next term.

She said: “We were the only team to take anything from Montrose in the end when we drew with them, which was a big achievement.

“They were the kind of team we really should have been competing with, but the difference is they have put in consistent performances, whereas we couldn’t and that has been the difference.

“That is certainly something we will be aiming to improve upon next season. We have to ensure our performances are better, week in and week out.”

Strong display and two goals to boot

There was a lively atmosphere in the stands and on the pitch on Sunday as Caley Thistle finished on a high note with a no-nonsense victory.

Mason was satisfied with the result, but would have liked a higher scoreline to have underlined their superiority.

She said: “It was a good support. We had around 200 in the stadium watching and our youth teams got a chance to go on the pitch and play at half-time.

“It was a really good occasion. It was just a shame we couldn’t give them more to cheer about.

“We had many chances, but again – like the story of our season – we didn’t put enough of them in the back of the net.

“However, we finished with three points and a clean sheet on what was a good occasion, so we can’t complain too much.”

More winners off the pitch

Sunday afternoon also saw awards handed out for the Caley Jags Women.

Kirsty Deans netted a double by taking the player and players’ player of the year awards, with Tina Kelly winning the young player of the season prize.

Abbey Ross was the club’s most improved player, while the top goalscorer prize went to Kayleigh Mackenzie, with the striker netting 26 goals this term.

Mason explained two of her winners will not be with the club next term, but she will welcome two players back to the fold.

She said: “We will be losing Tina and Abbey to university and we will be gutted to see them go.

 

“But the bulk of the squad should remain the same. It’s just a case of getting players back fit, such as Jana Brady and Kirsty Clelland – who has been out all season.

“If they can come back fighting fit then they will be really strong replacements for Tina and Abbey.

“We also aim to add a few more new faces to the squad over the summer.”

 

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