Blackburn Rovers Ladies are aiming to complete a remarkable season by securing the double with victory in the FA Women’s National League Cup Final this weekend.
Rovers face Crawley Wasps at Burton Albion FC’s Pirelli Stadium on Sunday, hoping to add the cup to their National League Northern Premier Division title success.
The Lancashire club are bidding to keep hold of the trophy they won for the first time by beating Leicester City in last season’s final.
It has been a remarkable few seasons for Gemma Donnelly’s side, although it is fair to say that things haven’t always gone completely to plan.
Donnelly was appointed as temporary manager back in November 2013 and helped the club secure its Premier League status following a disappointing start to the campaign.
She was handed the role permanently the following summer and guided Rovers to third place in the Premier League Northern Division.
Success at local level also followed, with Rovers winning the Lancashire Challenge Cup for the first time in three years courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Morecambe in the final.
Rovers retained the cup the following season, lifting the trophy for the tenth time in the club’s history thanks to a 2-1 victory over Preston North End.
Donnelly’s side took the league by storm in 2016/17, winning 17 and drawing three of their 20 games to secure the title with four games to spare.
They also clinched the county crown for the third successive season with a narrow 1-0 victory over AFC Fylde.
However, Rovers’ hopes of promotion to the Women’s Super League were dashed following a 3-0 defeat to Southern Division champions Tottenham Hotspur in the play-off final.
Rovers enjoyed a memorable season in 2017/18, retaining the Northern Division title and Lancashire Cup.
They also lifted the Premier League Cup for the first time in the club’s history, after coming from behind to beat Leicester 3-1.
The campaign ended in heartbreak again, as Rovers missed out on promotion to the Super League following a 2-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic.
The club’s subsequently applied to enter the newly-formed Championship, but this was rejected after appeal.
Rovers have proved the folly of that decision by sweeping to the Northern Division title once again, winning 21 out of 22 games with two matches still to play.
They are big favourites to claim the cup this weekend against a Crawley side who have won the National League Division One South East title in their first season at that level.
The Wasps are 10 points clear with two games to go in their season, having collected 55 points from their 20 games.
Despite that record it would be a major surprise to see them beat Rovers and the Lancashire side are fully expected to pick up yet more silverware.
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