(Report by Jim Sherring)
The Ladies 1’s finished the Y1’s League on a positive note by defeating Hampstead and Westminster 3-2 in an entertaining match played in unbroken sunshine. Perhaps the ladies had been waiting for the good weather to show their best form as they dominated from start to finish. Roared on from the steps by a vocal home crowd, the Ladies took control of the game from the first minutes. Although H&W forced the first short corner this was very much against the run of play, and it was no surprise when Southgate took the lead. Hannah picked up the ball centrally in the H&W half and drove past visitors midfield into the D where she was fouled as she was about to shoot; Hannah to the penalty flick herself to give us the lead.
The Ladies maintained the pressure and it was a surprise when H&W equalised after we lost possession in our own half. Just before half time we retook the lead when Jess Hurley and Lucy Leel combined brilliantly in midfield with a quick exchange of passes before setting up Millie BC who finished expertly.
Leading at half time was as much as we had deserved having been the better side throughout the first period. The 3rd quarter had been our nemesis throughout this post season league, but this time the momentum was maintained and our pace didn’t drop. However we had failed to add to our half time lead when H&W roused themselves to apply some pressure of their own. Chaela made a couple of smart saves, before Ella cleverly relieved the visitors press by playing an arial tight down the right hand touchline where Lucy was first to the ball; Lucy played a delicious cross field pass to find Emily RH in acres of space, she darted into the D before squaring to Millie BC who squeezed the ball home.
H&W through themselves into the final quarter but the defence was resolute until a couple of minutes before the end when a smart finish reduced the arrears. There were no nerves however and the Ladies played out time in relative comfort to register their first win of the competition.
Next week the Ladies are at home to Broxbourne in the EH Championship in a double bill of Cup action with the U18 Girls also playing at home to Spencer. The 18’s push back at 12.30pm and the Ladies follow at 2.15pm. If we can get Saturday’s weather to hang around until the weekend it promises to be a very entertaining day and we expect another good crowd to cheer the teams on, make a significant contribution to the bar revenues and get a decent tan at the same time.