Whitchurch ladies 1s 15 Bowdon ladies 5s 0
Whitchurch ladies played their first league match of 2017 against Bowdon ladies 5s. Within minutes of the start captain Catherine Winter-Gresty fired in from a penalty corner to give Whitchurch the lead.
The scoring then continued at a prolific rate with Ellie Windsor scoring from a run down the right and shot from the top of the dee, Sue Read tipped home after receiving a pass from Catherine Reece-Gresty. Millie Edwards scored with another run down the right and shot from the top of the dee, Sue Read scored her second connecting on the end of a pass from Lucy Ratcliffe and Grace Berry completed the half with a shot after a pass coming Emma Harper from a long corner.
Bowdon were limited to only one shot in the half due to the defending of Emily Hilton, Claire Fitzgerald, Charlotte Lawder and Helen Machin and Gwyneth Thomas-Rees in goal was up to the task for her one save of the game.
Whitchurch continued the second half looking for more goals, Phoebe Jones grabbed a brace poaching crosses on the back post. Grace Berry scored a second before Sue Read completed her hatrick. Lucy Ratcliffe opened her account with a fierce shot from the top of the dee and Ellie Windsor got her second. Grace Berry completed her hatrick with a shot high into the roof of the Bowden goal.
Laura Workman scored scrambling home the ball and the final goal came in the final seconds of the game as Lucy Ratcliffe ran through the Bowden defence and rounded the keeper for her second.
Whitchurch 1s travel away to Buckley next week, the ladies 2s play Neston at home at 12.30.
Whitchurch Mens 1s 9 – Bebington Mens 4s 1
The return to competitive games also brought Whitchurch a continuation of their winning form. The away leg against Bebington earlier in the season was a hectic affair with Whitchurch getting two goals in the last two minutes to nick a 7-6 win, so this time captain Alex Fry warned the team against assuming early goals meant an easy win. The team continued their good work from last week’s friendly, with Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal having a mostly quiet game protected by Mark Sugden and Matt Brooks, and Ben Fry combining solid defence with darting runs down the right wing.
Martin Beecher opened the scoring after some strong pressure from Whitchurch, followed quickly by the first of Ben Kimberley’s first-half hat-trick. This time Whitchurch settled into a better rhythm of tight marking and counter-attack. Most of Bebington’s attack was down their right wing, and Steve Kay, Si Briceno, Jake Wood and Brooks combined well in rotation to cut out these attacks and recycle the ball, with Kay and Alex Fry providing accurate high-speed switch passes to move the ball to Ben Fry, Joel Leese and Tom Leonard to start attacks down their right wing before Bebington could react. Kimberley picked up his second and third with a combination of quick reactions in the dee and hard strikes, given strong support and passes by Beecher and Leese. The half ended after Leonard got a hard strike away past the very capable Bebington keeper.
The second half allowed Whitchurch to turn up the pressure and they had a number of close misses, and Briceno and Kimberley were very unlucky some of their deflections went just wide. Bebington were able to launch a few attacks as they shifted a second striker up into the Whitchurch half, and one got away and was brought down in the Whitchurch dee by keeper Leigh and a penalty stroke was awarded and converted.
Whitchurch reset and an aerial clearance from James Partington from a sixteen went up the field to Tom Leonard to let him get his second of the game: a scramble in the Bebington dee lead to the ball popping clear to Leonard on the edge of the dee and a bullet strike flew into the bottom left corner. Renewed pressure allowed Whitchurch to get another as Leese was able to perform a perfect in-dee deflection to bring the score to 8-1.
With the last play of the game, Whitchurch was awarded a short corner which came to Tom Leonard who buried it to bring the score to 9-1 and end the game. Whitchurch are away next week at Oxton to play their 6s and hopefully continue their successful season.