Whitchurch ladies 2s 12 Neston Ladies 5s 0
Whitchurch Ladies 2s played their rearranged match against Neston South Wirral Ladies 5s at home. With a number of key players missing due to injury, Whitchurch looked for support from two new players, who had not played a league hockey before.
Neston had arrived with a young team who looked as though they would be fast and agile.
Hayleigh Busby standing in as captain for the injured Emma Clarke drove the team forward from the whistle and it took 10 minutes before Hebe Dixon put the first goal into the back of the net. The next goal was scored soon after by debutant Victoria Corlett scooping the ball in the Neston D to slide it past the keeper.
As Neston attacked the Whitchurch midfield players, Hebe Dixon, Kate Goodwin and Helen Apperley, kept the them at bay, with a lovely drive up the centre of the pitch from Hebe Dixon and Emily Vernon they found Ashleigh Heath at the top of the dee to pop away her first of 7 goals.
The first half finished with further goal for Ashleigh Heath and one for Olivia Edgerton, putting the score at 5-0.
Neston broke quickly in the second half driving through the centre of a disorganised Whitchurch team but were quickly met by defender Gayle Ladd who easily picked up the ball and drove it forward to the stick of Amy Fry who found Tracy Tolhurst for a shot which bounced off the keepers pads for Olivia Edgerton to sweep in her second of the day.
Not to be knocked Neston drove forward again, this time securing a short corner for their hard work. This was the only action Goal Keeper Shola Bailey saw during the whole match. Molly Goodwin stood on the defensive line to be part of her first ever short corner, which Jess Kimberley disrupted and knocked away from danger.
With the Whitchurch team now highly motivated and Neston tiring, twice Tracey Tolhurst found little difficulty running up the wing to find Ashleigh Heath for her 3rd and 4th goals. Amy Fry was unlucky not to get on the score board with a number of quick drives and skill play around the Neston defence, but managed to find the stick of Ashleigh Heath for more back of the net action.
However, this just gave Whitchurch greater drive and Tracy Tolhurst scored her first and only goal of the day. With the final play of the game Ashleigh Heath deflected home number seven from a penalty corner shot.
The Final score 12-0 to Whitchurch a strong result securing their second place with only 3 more games to play. Hebe Dixon was awarded Man of the Match.
Next Saturday Whitchurch Ladies 2s will be playing a friendly against Crewe in preparation for their head to head with the division leaders Sandbach on 4th March.
Buckley ladies 1s 0 Whitchurch ladies1s 3
Whitchurch ladies 1s travelled to Buckley this Saturday for a re-arranged league match. The opposition started strong blocking all Whitchurch’s attempts to break through their defence. With their goalie being the eventual man of the match it was a strong defence to penetrate. Whitchurch had the bulk of the play in the first half, with Buckley managing just a few breaks. Gwyn Thomas-Rees pulled off some strong saves in goal supported by Catherine Reece-Gresty and Claire Fitzgerald. Towards the end of the first half Whitchurch made a run down the right hand side with Ellie Windsor pushing the ball past the keeper for Whitchurch’s first goal.
The second half saw Whitchurch continuing strong with some great play in the centre by Aisla Cairns and Emma Harper. Phoebe Jones made a run and picked out Lucy Ratcliffe just in the dee who passed to Sue Read for Whitchurch’s second goal. Towards the end of the game Buckley tired and Whitchurch took advantage with some near misses from Catherine Winter-Gresty and Grace Berry. Another strong attack from Grace Berry saw her fire home the third goal. Player of the match went to Lucy Ratcliffe.
1s play at home next week against top of the league Runcorn 1s.
Neston Men’s 6s 1 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 1
Whitchurch Men’s 1s travelled away to Neston 6s, but only managed to wrestle a single point from a hard-fought and tense fixture.
A surprisingly strong Neston side started brightly and subjected Whitchurch to some sustained pressure for the first 20 minutes, forcing a number of short corners and several chances from open play. Whitchurch struggled to settle or adjust to the pitch in this time, but managed to prevent Neston scoring with some stubborn defending from Ryan Murtagh and Tom Forster, and a number of good saves from Paul Leigh in goal.
Against this run of play, Whitchurch broke quickly from within their 23 metre area to set Martin Beecher free down the left hand side, drawing in several Neston defenders before playing the ball square to find Tom Leonard free at the top of the circle to strike home in typical style. This was followed by a much more settled period which took the Reds through to half-time ahead, though not deservedly so.
The second half was almost a reverse of the first. For 15 minutes, Whitchurch applied steady pressure to Neston’s defence despite the temporary loss of two players to cards, but failed to make the most of the chances and short corners gained. Neston then rallied and this time were able to convert a short corner and level the game, leaving the last 10 minutes as a nail-biting, end-to-end affair with chances to win the game missed by both sides.
A fair result, which sees Whitchurch a point clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand.