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Referee Louise Thompson says she hopes the all-female officiating team in the Irish Cup fifth round is just "the tip of the iceberg".

Thompson, along with assistants Vicky Finlay and Rachel Greer, took charge of Newry City's 3-1 victory over Bangor.

The game was the first time three females had officiated at that stage of the Irish Cup in its 139-year history.

"It's hopefully going to be an inspiration towards other women," said Thompson.

"It was a positive reaction, and maybe a surprising reaction given that three women were going to take charge of a men's game at this level, but I think it has worked out quite well.
Rachel Greer, Louise Thompson and Vicky Finlay took charge of Newry City's 3-1 Irish Cup victory over Bangor. (Credit unknown)
"I have to say that the reaction from both teams and managers was very encouraging.

"Hopefully now that it has been done once, there's no reason that it can't continue, and maybe even on a bigger stage again."

Thompson was recently announced as the Irish Football Association's sole female Fifa-standard referee, although she will be joined by Finlay as an assistant.

Fifa officials are eligible to take charge of international, Champions League and Europa League fixtures.

"I'll be working with Vicky as well because it means we'll be getting more experience together, and that means we can bring a lot back home," added Thompson.

"It has escalated so quickly but it is really exciting."

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