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UEA Ladies suffer unfortunate hockey defeat

UEA Ladies’ 3XI stumbled to an unfortunate 5-0 defeat to Herlings at the Sportspark on Saturday morning. A largely new side, following a successful trials evening on Thursday, UEA had yet to gel as a team and, against the physicality of the Herlings side, they struggled to make an impact on the game.

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Photo: Ga Chun Yau

The opening exchanges were played out in the middle of the park, however UEA captain and goal-keeper Shannon Baker did well to keep a number of clear Herlings opportunities out of the net. The UEA defence was marshaled well and organised, but will can consider themselves unfortunate that two deflections found their way into Baker’s goal.

At 2-0 down, UEA stepped up their own attack and enjoyed the majority of possession. Harriett Segasby and Lucy Harford were comfortably taking on their midfield opposition and driving towards the goal, where Louise Pearson was tearing away from her marker on each occasion. The opportunities to score went begging, but with training and practice under their belts the next few weeks will surely offer some goals for this UEA side.

While the team in the ascendancy, it was largely against the run of play that Herlings added a third goal on the counter-attack. In plowing forward, UEA were leaving gaps in the midfield which a Herlings play made good use of, exposing the defence with numbers over to make it 3-0.

During the half-time break, Baker asked her team to keep up the effort and they responded positively. In the second half, UEA were dominant in the midfield and had a number of chances, but unfortunately could not convert them.

It would have been easy for UEA to have been deflated when another goal against the run of play put Herlings 4-0 up, but despite this they continued to press. Several slick passing moves and some confident running from Segasby and Harford gained UEA two short-corners, which were only just prevented from making the score-line more reasonable.

The heat on Saturday was beginning to take its toll, but the hosts’ effort was admirable. With only one substitute compared to Herlings’ three, the work-rate of the UEA side was impressive in that they continued to retain the ball and go forwards.

The defence had given the attackers a platform all game with their confident display. However, a rare blip accounted for Herlings’ final goal, which came from an unfortunate mix-up.

For UEA, this will be seen as a game which was played at the wrong time. With the coming weeks offering a lot of training and coaching, the team will be looking forward to the return fixture between the two sides.

Despite the score-line, the defence was well organised and promises to be one of the most solid in this league. A lot will come down to how the players will gel, but UEA Ladies have reason to be confident about this season.

30/09/2013

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samcoyne



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