Photo courtesy of Maureen Snade
BACK ROW: Margaret Platt, Barbara Bell, Maureen Snade, Hilda Gilding, Jean Larrington, Susan Chaplin, Margaret Robinson, Pat Moore. FRONT ROW: Margaret Sharp, Margaret Richardson, Alison Bellamy, Madge Wilson, Rita Jackson, Fred Appleby (linesman).
Back at the start of the swinging sixties, ladies football enjoyed a moment of popularity in Boston. While Boston United were on their way to their first ever league title in 1961/2, their ladies equivalents - the Boston Bombshells - beat them to major honours by winning the Lincolnshire county championship for ladies. The Bombshells had been formed in April 1961, and in their first match they had played the Hykeham Homesteaders at Boston United's York Street ground in front of an incredible crowd of 3,378. They lost that match 1-6, so four months later they weren't expected to do well when they came together with four other ladies teams, including Hykeham, to challenge for the Lincolnshire ladies title. The championship was decided in a football gala at Ingoldmells. In the preliminary round Tattershall Thorpe beat the Freiston Flyers 1-0 in extra time. This put them into a semi-final against pre-tournament favourites Hykeham Homesteaders. In the first semi-final the Bombshells were drawn against Spa Knitwear from Tattershall. Centre forward Alison Bellamy put the Bombshells in front after just two minutes after a shot from Madge Wilson had been fumbled by the Tattershall keeper. Two further goals by Alison and a penalty by captain Hilda Gilding made the score 4-0 at half-time. The second half was a repeat of the first, with four more goals being added without reply. Rita Jackson got two of them, Margaret Richardson another and Hilda Gilding converted a second penalty. In the other semi-final Hykeham had no trouble in their runaway 5-0 victory over Tattershall Thorpe.
In the final, before a large crowd including many supporters from Boston, the Bombshells took the lead after eight minutes when Madge WILSON finished off a five-player movement by driving home a hard shot. Hilda Gilding was on top form, breaking up all Hykeham's attacks, and on fifteen minutes the Bombshells went further in front when Alison BELLAMY scored. Shortly after this Hykeham got a penalty after a defender handled the ball, but Jean Larrington made a brilliant save. Rita JACKSON made it 3-0 to Boston on 19 minutes when her shot was deflected into the net by a Hykeham defender. That was the way it stayed until half-time. After the break Hykeham threw everything at the Boston goal and won three corners, but the Boston defence held out and Jean Larrington made some good saves. Margaret RICHARDSON scored Boston's fourth goal when she beat off challenges from three defenders and dribbled round the goalkeeper and placed the ball into the empty net. Five minutes from the end Hykeham got a consolation goal when Betty HOLLAND drove the ball home from an acute angle. Two minutes from time the refereee blew for a free kick, but the crowd thought the match was over and rushed on to the field. It took several minutes to clear the pitch so that the play could continue to its conclusion. The championship trophy was presented to Hilda Gilding by Sir John Maitland and all the players received medals.
Amongst the Bomshells' team was Maureen Snade, wife of Boston United defender Geoff Snade and Barbara Bell, daughter of Boston United club president Alf Bell. Maureen Snade can now be found helping out in the Boston United boardroom on matchdays.
Boston Bombshells team: 1. Jean Larrington, 2. Maureen Snade, 3. Margaret Robinson, 4. Barbara Bell, 5. Dulcie Robinson, 6. Hilda Gilding, 7. Margaret Platt, 8. Margaret Richardson, 9. Alison Bellamy, 10. Madge Wilson, 11. Rita Jackson.
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