With a week off for all the teams for half term the ladies 2s and 3s caught up on previously postponed fixtures.
Whitchurch Ladies 2s 1 Wilmslow Ladies 5s 0
Whitchurch L2s got off to a good start in their game with a series of early attacks on the Wilmslow goal, the closest being saved off the line.
Whitchurch had almost all the possession in the first half with some lovely passing play around the middle between Molly Fry, Bella Morris and Lydia Jones and some good runs down the wings by Caitlin Edwards and Rachel Chesters.
Hermione Ball and Chloe Lloyd were very strong at the back and effectively swept up all of Wilmslow’s attempts to press forward
After half time the game really was in Whitchurch’s hands. With a lot of attacks on the Wilmslow goal. Jasmine Williams commanded the right and was consistently able to stop Wilmslow from clearing the ball past her and was able to feed some beautiful passes to Molly Fry, Caitlin Edwards and Tracy Tolhurst, but unfortunately a goal was still to come. Louise Whitley was unlucky not to score at the back post from a pass across the dee despite her amazing dive!
Wilmslow gave Whitchurch a scare with a counter attack that saw four attackers against just Ball who put in some amazing tackles but was unable to completely stop their advance. Goalkeeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees came off her line though and intimidated the forward managing to stop an initial shot and then saved the second attempt with her stick from the ground which enabled Ball to sweep the ball away to safety.
The resulting short corner was a further concern for Whitchurch to deal with, fortunately Captain Emma Stubbs took one for the team and got her shoulder in the way of what would have been a very strong shot on goal.
This brief run against play seemed to rally Whitchurch and some great teamwork led to Molly Fry hitting a very determined shot that struck the back board with some venom three minutes before the final whistle. Molly Fry was awarded players player and Whitchurch earned themselves a very well deserved win.
Runcorn ladies 2s 6 Whitchurch ladies 3s 0
Whitchurch 3s travels away to Runcorn with over half the team very new to senior hockey, the remaining four players carried plenty of experience with them.
Whitchurch won the toss and Lucy Chadwick took the first push back. Driving the ball into the oppositions half with speed and accuracy to Poppy Gilbert on the left.
For the first quarter of the match, Whitchurch’s inexperienced team held an extremely strong Runcorn attack. However, Runcorn broke through and whipped a fantastic ball in the air scoring in the top left hand corner, it was a seriously fantastic goal. But Whitchurch were not down heartened and kept the pressure on.
In the dying 10 minutes of the first half Runcorn were awarded a succession of short corners, forcing Whitchurch to bring Mable Hazelhurst in to defend her first ever shorts, which she did with great determination and speed. In fact as a defensive team we were proud to not concede a single goal from short corner all match.
Despite our success rate being great for short corners, Runcorn attack allowed them to score a further four goals past Louise Cottrell in the first half.
After a rousing team talk by captain Cooper at half time and a box of jaffa cakes kindly donated by the opposition. Whitchurch attacked Runcorn’s pushback with renewed enthusiasm.
From the off, sisters Lucy and Robyn Hearn fought hard on opposites sides of the pitch, to keep Whitchurch’s attack alive, with Heidi Carr being a nuisance to Runcorn’s attacking half, taking Runcorn by surprise. They well supported by Jess Hunt in mid-field.
Once Runcorn had regrouped they attacked with a vengeance, the halves of Jessica and Mabel valiantly protecting Whitchurch’s golden girls in Whitchurch last defence, Wendy Copper, Mel Reid and Emma Clarke.
Most of the play was in Whitchurch’s half of the pitch, Runcorn had shot upon shot at goal, which Whitchurch valiantly defended again and again over and over. All the team just upped their game in the second half, marking players and supporting each other. Because the team gelled well and began to feel their positions Runcorn only managed to smash one goal in the second half.
Despite Whitchurch being defeated by Runcorn they played an extremely strong game even though the majority were very young and inexperienced, captain Cooper came away very proud of her team. Even the umpires and the Runcorn team commented on the strength and abilities of such young players.
Player of the match was given to Emma Clarke who totally deserved it, over GK Louise who didn’t get it as Emma is amazing and can’t understand why she has never been awarded this accolade before.
Next week Whitchurch 3s host Crewe Vagrants at home.