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Ladies 3rd XI - Match centre

Wootton Wanderers 1st
Kettering Hockey Club 3rds
Sat 17 Mar 11:30 - League Full time

Kettering 1-2 Wootton 1st

Kettering unable to hang on

The 3rd team have worked unbelievably hard to fulfil the task set by the club at the start of the season which was to stay in Div. 1 of the County league. Games against 2nd placed Daventry and 4th placed Oundle make this task look increasingly difficult as we reach the end of our season. Relegation for the 3rd’s and promotion for the 2nd’s will unfortunately leave a huge gap between our teams
Wootton opened strongly and showed their intent from the start. A penetrating move down the pitch into the Kettering “25” and skilful 1-2’s saw them drive into the “D” and fire home from close range. With only five minutes gone into the game Kettering felt that the writing was probably on the wall but they managed to re-group and it is a measure of their commitment and determination that they were able to put that disappointment behind them and start to play the sort of hockey that has made some of us old timers feel so proud.
Wootton always looked dangerous on the break but the defence were solid with Eleanor Izzard in particular having an excellent game at right defence. Powerful clearances from Beth Hardy found Katie Woolveridge and Natalie Irons who worked tirelessly to get back from mid field to help out the defence and they were able to push forward to give the defenders a break and set up the attack. Sam Bedford and Sandra Mandziuk combined well to put the Wootton defence under considerable pressure but unfortunately were unable to get the ball past the Wootton keeper. Wootton were a fast and skilful side and Sophie Guyett, Eleanor Izzard and Beth Hardy were called upon numerous times to stem the flow and as usual Kate Metcalfe dealt admirably with the occasional ball that found its way through.
Kettering continued to push forward with Julia Telford defending superbly and distributing the ball skilfully to her mid and forwards. Neola Bush used her speed to worry the opposition and Georgie Jones called, up from the 4th’s, made numerous devastating runs down the right. A great debut for a player with considerable talent and the determination to win back the ball on the rare occasions when she was eventually tackled.
Kettering worked extremely hard to push forward and Wootton became more and more frustrated by their inability to stop the forward runs and penetrate the Kettering defence. Eventually the hard work by the whole team paid off when Kettering forced a penalty corner. A great injection by Georgie Jones found Beth Hardy who slipped the ball through to Natalie Irons who swept the ball first time into the back of the net. A great goal and Kettering entered the break 1 – 1
End to end stuff throughout the second period with Wootton having slightly more of the play but Kettering held firm. Annika Steffans also called up from the 4th’s played extremely well, worked hard and created many chances down the left. The final ten minutes saw Wootton desperate to get onto the score sheet and Kettering were put under the cosh defending endless penalty corners. With only two minutes to go the pressure eventually paid off as Wootton slotted home the winning goal.
This pretty much sums up the team’s season – superb commitment and determination, unbelievable team spirit but the loss yet again by a single goal.
Kate Metcalfe Beth Hardy Jan Randle Sophie Guyett Eleanor Izzard Sandra Mandziuk Sam Bedford Natalie Irons Julia Telford Katie Woolveridge Georgie Jones Neola Bush & Anika Steffans

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