Basement club Stevenage make ladies work hard for it but success keeps WGC top

PUBLISHED: 07:25 13 February 2018

Jodie Sharkey scored twice for Welwyn Garden City against Stevenage. Picture: Kevin Lines

Jodie Sharkey scored twice for Welwyn Garden City against Stevenage. Picture: Kevin Lines

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Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club’s ladies remain top of the 5 Counties Women’s Hockey League Premier thanks to a 4-1 victory over Stevenage 2nds – but they certainly made hard work of it.

The half-term break meant WGC were without a number of players, including captain Holly Butrimas-Gair, but they still travelled north to face the division’s basement club with plenty of confidence.

But they were slow to pick up the momentum they had shown in their last few games and needed Jodie Sharkey’s opener midway through the first half to settle them down.

She picked up a deflection from Trinny McCann and swept the ball in with the keeper wrong footed and shortly after Annabel Mabin made it two from a penalty corner, pouncing on a rebound off the keeper’s pads after McCann had miscued her shot from the top of the circle.

But with Stevenage working hard to restrict them, Welwyn knew that two may not be enough.

The reputation of McCann, WGC’s top scorer, was obviously spreading as she was marshalled by two Stevenage players for most of the game.

She did manage to fashion a couple of attempts but unfortunately they failed to find the back of the net.

And those early nerves may have returned in waves as the hosts pulled one back.

Welwyn’s defence stopped playing momentarily to appeal for a potentially dangerous high ball but, with the officials unsighted, a Stevenage forward was able to run clear and fire the ball past keeper Erica Stovold.

However, this spurred Welwyn on and they regained their two-goal advantage again in short order.

Abbie Woodman got it, driving into the circle and smacking it home, and with the nerves well and truly dissipated, Sharkey completed the victory, meeting a cross at the far post from Shannon Tella, who had danced beyond three defenders to get into position.

The other teams in the section weren’t as successful as the 3rds drew 1-1 with West Herts and the 4ths were beaten 5-0 by Chiltern.

The 2nds game at Bishop’s Stortford was called off due to frozen pitch.

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