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Ladies' 6s denied a draw

18 January 2014, 15:30, Aylesbury Vale Academy

Ladies' 6s 2 - 4 Aylesbury Ladies 4s

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The ladies 6's travelled to Aylesbury for a late PB with 3 Mother and Daughter partnerships. Claire Strickland and her daughter Olivia, Becky  Madden-Waite and her daughter Jessica and Lisa Scraggs and her daughter Chloe. Unfortunately Lisa had to umpire so was unable to play for us .From the start Aylesbury put our defence under pressure. They had some strong forwards who tested our defenders and keeper but we managed to clear the ball each time. Deborah made numerous goal saving trademark tackles and was ever dependable against a tough Aylesbury centre forward. Purdy was on top form, making countless spectacular saves , and once again Jan was able to save a goal on the line. It was however, Hawks who scored the first goal, about 10 minutes into the game. Some skilful work by our inners Olivia, Jessica and Chloe , saw us in the attacking D and our goal was nicely slotted in by Suzy Ovington.

We were ahead which boosted our confidence, but Aylesbury responded with a relentless attack and most of the rest of the first half was in our defending half. It was only a matter of time before Aylesbury were to score and sure enough they scored 2 goals in quick succession. Suzy, Michelle Lewis, Becky and Mel Thurley worked hard supporting the defenders and came back to help, moving the ball away from danger and we were on the attack again. Our forwards ,Mary Joyner ,Claire ,Pam  Selby and Julia Middleton sprung into action and Mary's shot on goal found the feet on a defender. Julia (trying a new position on the forward line) was on to the rebound and scored her first goal! Such a shame that it wasn't given, the whistle had already blown and a penalty flick was awarded. With 1 minute till half time Becky stepped up to take the flick. She scored in the right corner of the goal, only to be told that it was disallowed as the umpire had not blown his whistle! Becky took the flick again which was unfortunately saved by the keeper and the whistle blew for half time. Score now 2-1 to Aylesbury.

After a motivational team talk by Deborah and Lisa, we started out with renewed enthusiasm for the second half. Michelle Lewis, who is new to our team, confidently distributed the ball and gave guidance to fellow teammates, resulting in an early attack for Hawks. Mary's skill  and speed took the Aylesbury defenders off guard and she had a one on one with the keeper. Her powerful strike hit the backboard and within a minute we had equalised! She had borrowed the Chairman's stick for this match, was it a lucky charm? No, just Mary's skill! Aylesbury stepped up their game in response and they had 4 very strong and skilful players on their right who thwarted most of our attempts to get the ball back up to our forwards. Suzy was put under great pressure, but worked so hard in the midfield and helping in defence, intercepting on many occasions. Jessica stayed strong and worked well with Claire who was dynamic and fast on the ball and Olivia fit and strong in the middle. Pam remained calm and unflappable against the tough opposition, and Mary worked tirelessly up and down they pitch. Julia ,with new found confidence, seemed to be enjoying her new position and had a great game. Chloe ,our smallest player ,showed great courage against her opposition, and calmly and skilfully worked the ball up to the forwards. We had some good attempts at goal but unfortunately none went in. Time after time the ball came back down their right side, but all attempts at goal were stopped by our defence and the very "on form" Purdy in goal who may have a few bruises following some courageous dives! Becky, despite having a nasty cold, worked hard clearing many balls out of danger and giving help and encouragement to the less experienced players. Our hard working haves, Mel, Michelle and Suzy, supported in defence, which was greatly appreciated and we managed to hold them off, that is until the last few minutes of the match. The strong centre forward scored from a reverse shot between her own legs which took us all by surprise and a fourth goal was slotted in from a strong run and textbook strike just inside the D. Such a shame ,after holding them off for so long, but that's hockey!

Man of the match went to the awesome but very modest Mary,f or her skill and work rate and fantastic goal.

Runners up were Olivia for her lovely skills and hard work in the midfield and Purdy for her countless spectacular saves!


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