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Ladies O35s through to the quarter final!

29 November 2015, 12:00

Ladies O35s 3 - 1 Exe Lady O35s

There were a few bleary eyes as the intrepid team gathered at 7.45 on Sunday morning for the 'round of 16' in the O35 National Knock out cup. A need for coffee was identified early on, and despite technology we didn't quite manage to all get to the same service station at the same time. Communication and teamwork needed to step up a gear! We all managed to weather the storms on the motorways and the happy 13 gathered in the changing rooms determined that the journey was going to be worth it. Captian Henri gave us a stirring team talk and reinforced with jelly babies we set out to enjoy ourselves.
Another storm to weather as Exe started strongly. The defence had to make some key tackles and interceptions to keep their forwards at bay. However after about 10 minutes and a little against the run of play an attack developed down the right and Caroline hit a hard ball into the circle towards the far post. Somehow it travelled through a channel that opened up and Linda, ever reliable on the left post deflected it neatly into the back of the net.
This seemed to lift the Hawks spirits and the team raised their game to dominate more of the possession and pass the ball well between players. It wasn't long before a stray pass out of defence from Exe was pounced on by Kelly and she worked an effective one : two with Linda before slotting the ball past the keeper to make it 2-0 at half time.
The game was far from won as Exe came back with determination at the start of the second half and looked dangerous on a number of occasions, and winning some short corners. The defence held strong however and there was some neat teamwork as play built through the hard working midfield linking with forwards who ran tirelessly. In our turn we put pressure on Exe and after a sustained period of play when they were unable to clear their 25 effectively Henri was on the end of a passing move and slotted a reverse stick shot into the corner of the goal. With a 3-0 scoreline and about 10 minutes to go it was understandable that the team relaxed a little. Exe upped the pace and for the first time in the game the defence looked slightly unsettled.   A firm short corner strike led to Exe converting the rebound and  narrowing the lead. It was a timely reminder that we needed to keep working to the final whistle. And everyone did to good effect and as the final whistle blew there were smiles all round, and cheers from Phil's sister who had come to support.  A most enjoyable game and warm hospitality from Exe. Definitely worth the long journey.
Better coordinated we all stopped together on the way back for a cup of tea and to mull over the game. An impressive result from a team made up of players 4 of whom don't play in a regular Saturday team and others drawn from 1st to 6th teams.
Into the quarter-finals. A home draw v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. What started as a fun way of introducing people to the joys of masters hockey may become serious!
Linda Billington, Phil Williams, Jacqui Barlow, Caroline Baggs, Catherine Taylor, Lucy Aldred ( MOM), Jane Lewis, Henri Gordon, Rachel Bellamy, Sherene Butler, Kelly Fogden, Clare Pritchard, Linda Phillips.


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