Bretforton Ladies 1 Marlborough Ladies 3
West Clubs Women’s Hockey League Premier Division 2A
BRETFORTON Ladies were relegated from Premier Division 2A on Saturday alongside their opposition Marlborough.
This was Bret’s third game in eight days and it certainly showed, but the home side played the better hockey and enjoyed most of the possession, although they were unable to convert their chances.
The Wiltshire side started brightly and were soon ahead when a series of defensive errors allowed them to score.
However, Bret shook themselves into life and began to play and good work by Sarah and Julie Hall put Marlborough under pressure and Bret were awarded a flurry of short corners.
Sophie Hamilton’s initial shot was well saved but the tenacious Danni Cox was on hand to bravely sweep home the rebound.
Bret really took the game to Marlborough in the second half as Debbie Slatter and Emma Lowe piled on the pressure and kept the ball well, whilst the Bret defence – which has absorbed a lot of pressure this season – saw Heather Carr and Polly Christan put in another excellent shift in central defence and Sarah Cook proved as reliable as ever in her final game as a pink lady.
With Tess Lewinton playing out of position again, it was down to the dynamic midfield powerhouse that is Lisa Workman to keep things ticking over on the pitch and keeper Vicky Watkins to keep the scoreline respectable, including a flying save as she tipped the ball over the crossbar to the delight of onlookers.
Although disappointed to be relegated, with players lost and injuries picked up throughout the season to key players, the girls have kept battling this season.
Not only have they battled but they have done so with smiles on their faces and laughing all the way. This squad will come back stronger and better after regrouping out of the top flight.
Major thanks this season go to skipper Tess Lewinton for always getting a team out, all the umpires and also to the family and friends who have stood on the sidelines and cheered the team on in adversity.
Players of the match were Lisa Workman and Vicky Watkins.
Meanwhile, former Bretforton player Kate Mitchell is running the upcoming London Marathon for Asthma UK and you can donate to the cause at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Katemitchell9.
Stroud Ladies 2nds 1 Bretforton Ladies 2nds 7
Severn Division Two
BRET Ladies 2nds saved their best until last as they fired a magnificent seven in their final game of the season to seal a third placed finish.
The game did not start well for the visitors in windy and rainy conditions as Stroud took advantage of some disorganisation in the Bret ranks to open the scoring.
Undeterred, Bret maintained their composure and their pressure told as Stroud conceded a short corner from which Alice Cook scored with a neat finish from Ness Dufty’s set-up.
Hayley Whitehouse produced some excellent hockey for the visitors but her efforts went unrewarded as half time was reached without any further score.
However, it did not take long for Bretforton to take the lead in the second half when Cook struck again on the rebound from Whitehouse’s shot, which had been parried by the keeper.
Ness Dufty had a fine match up front and she made it 3-1 after some excellent work with Whitehouse.
With their tails up, Bret went on the rampage and immediately from the push-back it was Lorna Beddis on the left wing who intercepted the ball and ran down the wing before producing a fine pass which found Ness Dufty, who slotted home her second goal.
Whitehouse then powered down the right before crossing for Lucy Cole who deflected the ball into the net to make it 5-1 and the visitors struck again when Lucy Cole hit the post, only for Ness Dufty to secure her hat-trick as she made no mistake with the rebound.
Player of the match Lucy Cole scored one of the best goals of the season to complete the scoring after a great run by Cook down the right wing ended up with Cole finishing the job on the half volley.
This was a fitting end to Bret’s season and is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the team, having only being promoted last season.