Welwyn Garden City ladies hang on to topple Division 3C leaders Sudbury
PUBLISHED: 16:46 24 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:46 24 November 2015
Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club ladies produced their best performance in over a year, knocking league leaders Sudbury off the top with three goals in a ruthless first-half showing.
Anna Geaves’ double, including one from the penalty spot, and Jodie Sharkey all-but wrapped up the points before the interval.
Sudbury refused to lay down in the second half and almost clawed back to parity with two strikes but WGC hung on for a superb three points.
The De Havilland girls, sporting a new line-up, completely over-ran their opposition with a stunning display of flowing aggressive hockey.
With a back four that combined teenager Molly Lodge, Lisa Sheffield, Nai Walker and captain Michelle Webster, WGC were rarely troubled by the league’s top side.
In the opening moments, inside forwards, Geaves and Sammy Funnell fed by Abbie Woodman, began to cause chaos in Sudbury’s defence and were soon in front.
Annabel Mabin drove into the 25 from the right before releasing Geaves who unleashed an unstoppable diving shot that flew past the Sudbury stopper.
From the restart WGC were in the mood for more goals.
With a strong press their opposition began to panic with some desperate clearances.
It was one of these that centre forward Sharkey capitalised on for the second.
Sweeping up a sloppy pass, Sharkey spun and released a powerful shot that left the keeper completely stranded, putting Welwyn two goals up inside 10 minutes.
WGC were going from strength-to-strength and trebled their lead on the half-hour.
Funnell’s shot hit a Sudbury foot, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
Funnell declined to take the penalty and Geaves stepped up to convert with a powerful flick that left the keeper motionless.
With a 3-0 lead at half-time Welwyn’s coach knew that their opposition had been given a lesson in the first half and prepared for an onslaught in the second half.
Sudbury got off to a better start although the game was still pretty even.
Feeling the effects of the first half, tired WGC legs led to Sudbury grabbing their first goal with a superb reverse edge shot on 57 minutes.
WGC then conceded a second within five minutes, a carbon copy of the first.
With just 13 minutes left the ladies were on the back foot.
Only superb and sometimes spectacular goalkeeping from Erica Stovold and an amazing goalline clearance by Sharkey ensured this magnificent WGC victory.
This Saturday, they face second-placed Waltham Forest and with three key players out it will be a tougher task.
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