20/03/16 Whitchurch ladies secure back to back promotions – match report

Alderley Edge ladies 5s 3 Whitchurch ladies 1s 5

Whitchurch ladies travelled to Alderley Edge on a sunny Sunday afternoon to complete another hugely successful season in which they completed back to back promotions finishing runners-up in Cheshire Division 4.

The Whitchurch team composed of 1s and 2s due to the late start took the game to the Alderley side from the whistle as they were in no mood to finish the season with a loss. Captain Catherine Gresty led by example and shot past the Alderley keeper to give Whitchurch the lead in the early stages.

Alderley obviously hadn’t read the script and came back at Whitchurch with a combination of speed and skill to get an equaliser. Julia Neale scored her first goal for the 1s when a shot rebounded off the Alderley keeper and was pushed into the corner beyond the stranded keeper.

Alderley again came back at the Whitchurch side and equalised through a well taken penalty corner. Whitchurch continued to pressure and created numerous chances with Lisa Sullivan picking out the speedy wings of Charlotte Lawder and Laura Workman but despite all their efforts the final touch in front of goal eluded them.

At the break the scores remained level but the team talk focussed on doing the basics of accurate passing, keeping the ball and thus controlling the game. Whitchurch began to take control of the game and press the Alderley team into making mistakes. Alderley still had plenty of the ball but were restricted to running into wide channels as the defence of Emily Hilton, Jess Kimberley, Mel Reid and Jane Williamson closed up and limited their opportunities to get into the Whitchurch dee.

Alderley took the lead for the first time in the game when they were awarded a penalty stroke and the following flick left no chance for keeper Gwyneth Rees-Thomas to save.

Whitchurch continued to roll their subs using up and coming juniors to maintain fresh legs and continue the pressure and when Hebe Dixon picked out goal supremo Sue Read in the dee she deflected home for number twenty-eight of the season to bring the scores level.

It fell too Emma Harper to round off the game as one of Charlotte Lawder’s runs down the right picked out Harper on the top of the dee to sweep home and give Whitchurch the lead. Within minutes Harper had her brace as Sullivan feed her the ball and she struck into the bottom corner to give Whitchurch a cushion. As the game drew to a conclusion Whitchurch remained firm as Alderley pushed forward without success.

Whitchurch left the pitch after another victory in their final game to the applause of the travelling fans and looking forward to life in Division 3 next season.