HOCKEY SLIDESHOW: League leaders Rugby Ladies 1st XI v Olton

Pictures by Mike Baker

Rugby & East Warwickshire Hockey Club

Rugby & East Warwickshire Ladies 1st XI in action against Olton

Rugby & East Warwickshire Ladies 1st XI in action against Olton

REWHC Ladies 1st XI 0 Olton 1

Rugby ladies suffered a rare home defeat to a strong Olton side but, with results going their way, could still clinch the league with victory next weekend. It was a meeting of the two in-form sides in the league, with Olton resurgent since Christmas, but Rugby had been expected to continue their unbeaten run with yet another victory. Whether it was complacency on account of their sizable league lead or maybe the absence of some key players but, the home side struggled to gain a foothold at against a well-organised and disciplined Olton, who provided Rugby with their greatest test of the season to date.

As good as Olton were however, Rugby were poor. It was difficult watch for the sizable home support but there were a few moments in the first half that had them on their feet. Nicky had a couple of good chances when she evaded the shadow of her defender but, luck too was on Olton’s side as, with the keeper beaten, the ball twice squeezed past the wrong side of the upright.

Early in the second half Olton won a controversial short corner and a solid strike made scoring look easy. Rugby looked to respond but had not learned from their mistakes and were frustrated as Olton mercilessly choked every opportunity.

Special mentions to midfield duo Emma Allen for a man of the match performance and Kelly. Coach Sue said afterwards: “It’s frustrating, but only because our standards are now so high. Olton played well and deserved the win. Sometimes you need a loss to bring yourselves back down to earth and the girls will be working twice as hard in training next week.”

REWHC Ladies 2nd XI 3 Sutton Coldfield 0

Rugby played an awesome game, stringing passes together to build the play that resulted in their beautifully structured win. Mary Burton scored the first through a beautifully executed short corner after her tireless efforts throughout the first half.

Entering the second half, Rugby continued with their determination and for once excelled in their short corners which produced two more goals, finished by Lara and Freya.

Throughout this victorious process, the defenders remained strong, forming a base that stopped any attackers from breaking. Man of the Match went to Amber for being everywhere on the pitch and some amazing balls through. Special mentions to Mary B and Nat for being generally awesome.

Club fixtures for Saturday 3rd:

M1 v Barton - away

M2 v Olton – 1400 – Hart Field

M3 v Beeston - away

M4 v Loughborough Town - away

M5 v West Bridgford – 1200 – Rugby School

M6 v Saints – 1530 – Hart Field

M7 v Burton - away

L1 v Ashby - away

L2 v Hampton - away

L3 v Edgbaston - away

L4 v Berkswell - away