National glory for Bretforton Ladies - The Evesham Observer

National glory for Bretforton Ladies

Evesham Editorial 14th May, 2018 Updated: 16th May, 2018   0

BRETFORTON Ladies secured the most prestigious honour in the club’s 70-year history when they defeated Kingston upon Hull 3-0 in the Investec Women’s Knockout Plate (tier two) over 45s national final.

The eagerly-anticipated encounter was played at Lee Valley Hockey Centre in London’s Olympic Park in front of a passionate crowd including around 60 family and friends of Bretforton players who provided vociferous backing.

Bret Ladies had finished runners-up in the over 35s final two years ago and, with the experience gained from that final, they showed no nerves in the capital, just a steely determination to win.

Bretforton began well but squandered an early penalty corner before they had an escape from one at the other end when defender Sylvia Thomas cleared off the line.

Tessa Lewinton fired just wide for Bret and Ness Dufty had a shot cleared off the line, but Bretforton finally made the breakthrough in the closing stages of the first half when Lisa Workman made a surging run through the middle and fed Deb Slatter whose strike was parried, but Julie Hall was on hand to convert the rebound.

Stand-in Bretforton coach John Shaw urged the side to keep cool heads in the second half and that proved to be exactly the case as they doubled their lead with 23 minutes remaining.

Blanche Surman, Dawn Thatcher and Hall combined and, following the latter’s pacy run on the right, she picked out Rosemary Logan in the D who calmly flicked the ball past the keeper.

The cheers from the crowd were telling and signalled Bretforton stood on the verge of a fine triumph, but Kingston did not lie down and came within a whisker of reducing their arrears five minutes later when they struck the post.

Kingston then had two penalty corners – the second of which was pushed on to the post by keeper Vicky Watkins – but were unable to capitalise and the outcome was put beyond doubt when Logan set up Lucy Wilkes to make it 3-0 from close range.

The final whistle sparked scenes of joy for Bretforton, whose players and fans were quick to think of Jane Wheeler who was unable to play due to a serious illness.

Coached to the final by Julie Stowe and on the day by John Shaw, the full Bretforton squad was: Goalkeeper – Vicky Watkins; defenders – Blanche Surman, Sylvia Thomas, Sally Privett, Dawn Thatcher; midfielders – Julie Hall, Lisa Workman (captain), Danielle Cox, Rosemary Logan, Lucy Wilkes; forwards – Deb Slatter, Ness Dufty, Andrea Cole, Tessa Lewinton.

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