The girls’ first hockey team made its second trip of the season to Cambridge to play in the England Hockey National U18 Competition. This time it was for a round two match in the National Plate against The Perse… and for victory! However, it was all but plain sailing…
Woodbridge dominated the opening minutes, with Georgia making threatening runs into the D, winning a string of corners only for none of the routines to work. With time passing and Woodbridge trying different combinations to convert their possession into goals, it was The Perse who struck first via a penalty corner. This goal against the run of play only added to our girls’ frustration; but Mollie, Ianthe, Flora J and Harriet regained control for Woodbridge in midfield and at last Ianthe converted a great chance from the top of the D. Scores were level at half time but Woodbridge knew they should be dominating more.
The second half saw a much improved team, better urgency and organisation in the press and much better passing in midfield and defence with Annabel moving around the pitch in order to help with distribution. In the last 15 minutes of the game The Perse struggled to keep Woodbridge’s passing at bay. Chances came and went, but few gaps could be found in a crowded D, and The Perse cleared off the line when required until a great passage of play, starting at the back between Maud and Joanne, saw the ball go into midfield, out wide, and back in to Georgia who fed a good first time pass to Ianthe who took the chance well. But, oh woe, at the other end there was a well taken field goal, again against the run of play, to make it 2-2! Woodbridge, led by Victoria now, kept pressing but could not get the winner in normal time. It was down to penalty strokes. Sophie L put Woodbridge on the front foot by saving the first two penalties from The Perse. Annabel calmly stepped up to put Woodbridge ahead only for the second stroke to hit the post. So close! Sophie saved again… Ianthe slotted her stroke. The Perse got the next one in to keep them in the game, but up stepped co-captain Mollie, who had been a very calm influence throughout the match, to give Woodbridge the win!
Annabel, Flora J, Mollie and Sophie L all had player of the match nominations, Mollie B ultimately taking the award for this match.
Out thanks go to The Perse for a match played in excellent spirit.