Stalemate as league leaders are stumped

PUBLISHED: 14:10 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:16 26 October 2009

POINTS were shared as Welwyn Garden City and promotion hopefuls Stevenage played out a 1-1 draw in NE14HOCKEY East League Division Two. WGC were looking to grab a second win of the year after their 2-1 success over Bury St Edmunds in the game prior to thi

POINTS were shared as Welwyn Garden City and promotion hopefuls Stevenage played out a 1-1 draw in NE14HOCKEY East League Division Two.

WGC were looking to grab a second win of the year after their 2-1 success over Bury St Edmunds in the game prior to this one.

The Key People sponsored Welwyn team started brightly and took the game to their high- flying opponents.

WGC dominated the opening exchanges in what was always going to be a tough derby duel.

An early short corner was well struck by Clare Lund but league leaders Stevenage defended well in almost the first attack.

When it was the visitors' turn to put on the pressure they were thwarted by a diving Karen Burroughes in the WGC goal. The ball rebounded out and Michelle Gray cleared off her pads.

Left defence Gemma Hale managed to turn defence into attack with a precision pass to the hard-working and very effective Jane Kinghorn at centre midfield.

She in turn found speedy Becky Llewellyn down the right wing. Her mazy run rounded the Stevenage defence, leading to Welwyn's best chance of the first half.

Youngsters Grace Mizon and Lauren Allan combined well down the left, but struggled to penetrate the D.

Stand-in central defender Lisa Sheffield didn't allow the Stevenage centre forward any room to manoeuvre and calmly managed to find Sally Warrington for some penetrating runs down the right.

It wasn't until the closing 10 minutes that the deadlock was broken.

Stevenage had some sustained pressure and a couple of short corners, before finally managing to force the ball in to make it 1-0.

Welwyn's response was instantaneous.

Kinghorn found Lund on her right almost straight from the push-back.

Llewellyn chased the ball down to the corner flag and crossed it in.

Lauren Allan's first-time shot hit the keeper's pads, but centre forward Sarah Collins was quickest to react.

She latched onto the rebound to score and made it a well-deserved 1-1, much to the delight of the home supporters.

Despite being sent off for five minutes midway through the second half for some competitive barging, Clare Lund still got the players' vote for man-of-the-match.

Meanwhile, WGC Ladies' 2nd XI lost 3-0 in the rain at de Havilland.

They battled hard with plenty of team spirit, despite being beaten by a strong Shefford & Sandy team.

This Saturday the ladies' 1st XI are without a game as their fixture has been cancelled.

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