Sport

Women’s Hockey see off Nottingham

UEA Women’s Hockey maintained their 100% record with a 5-3 win which saw them advance into the semi-finals of the BUCS PwC Midlands Conference Cup. It wasn’t the first time these two sides had played each other this season, and emerging victorious the first time wasn’t an easy task for UEA. However, Hockey demonstrated just why they are unbeaten thus far, with skilful play and strong determination throughout the game, which saw them overcome Nottingham III to secure their place in the next round of the competition.

The game began with a clear illustration of the visitors’ capabilities. They scored their first goal within 30 seconds, showing that it would always be an uphill battle for the home side. UEA were not deterred, however, and pushed play up into the Nottingham defensive half, winning a handful of short and long corners. It was from the latter that they equalised, Felicity Williams finding Esméralda Barber, who proceeded to reverse sweep the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal and even the score.

With the score at 1-1 and only 15 minutes played, the game was still anyone’s. The determination of both teams was evident, with play continually alternating between both attacking halves. Unfortunately for the away side, UEA hindered their wave of attacks, and drove the ball up the pitch when the opportunity arose. Once again Felicity Williams assisted, this time distributing it to Milou de Boer, who slotted past the goalkeeper from the top of the D to put UEA 2-1 ahead.

Prior to the interval, Nottingham kept up the pressure on the hosts. Goalkeeper Sophie Simpson and her defensive team fought to keep the ball out of the UEA net for as long as possible. They were thwarted, however, when the Nottingham ladies were awarded a short corner, and scored with a dramatic diving reverse sweep, levelling the scores once again before the half time whistle.

UEA were quick to reclaim the lead at the start of the second period, with BUCS captain Chantelle Farrell leading the attack, and setting Esméralda Barber up with a goal scoring opportunity almost immediately. The Nottingham side were not deterred, however, and went on to net for the third and final time.

The home side fought back again, and with the strength of Grace Mansfield and Hannah Chorlton, their forwards were able to penetrate deeper into Nottingham territory. Milou de Boer was in the right place at the right time to score for UEA, putting them into a 4-3 lead. Both sides fought for every opportunity throughout the match, but in the last 10 minutes the home side outplayed Nottingham and secured another goal before the final whistle blew. Assisted by Pip Williams, Esméralda Barber completed her hat-trick, putting the final score at 5-3 and moving UEA Women’s Hockey I into the quarter finals.

07/02/2012

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jennibarrett



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