Bretforton Ladies Masters 4 Norwich City Ladies Masters 1
England Masters O35s National Shield semi-final
BRETFORTON Ladies Masters are celebrating after clinching their place in the final of the over 35s National Shield with a fantastic performance in Sunday’s last four encounter.
The Pink Ladies will now look forward to a prestigious final appearance against Stourport or Folkestone at the Lee Valley Olympic Park hockey centre in London on April 30.
A stunning first half display saw the Vale ladies blow Norwich City away as they did not look back after opening the scoring in the eighth minute when a brilliant cross from Bret captain Lisa Workman found Julie Hall, who fired the ball back across the advancing keeper and saw her effort nestle into the far corner of the goal.
Bret then went 2-0 up when Andrea Cole turned in a Ness Dufty cross with a perfectly weighted deflection past the Canaries keeper.
Spurred on by the amazing home support, the ladies in pink continued to pile on the pressure and were awarded a penalty corner. The ever-reliable Sophie Hamilton stepped up and tucked her fiercely driven first-time shot into the corner of the goal.
Bret were lucky to have the help of coach Julie Stowe and, with her wise words of advice and orchestration of substitutions, Bret attackers Sarah Hall, Julie Hall, Sarah Green, Dani Cox and Deb Slatter kept terrorising the visitors with their constant running and harrying.
Norwich reduced their arrears in the second half but they never looked truly likely to mount a full comeback as some excellent defensive work from Blanche Surman, Tessa Lewinton and Jane Wheeler kept the home side in command.
Midfield maestros Sally Beale and Workman linked brilliantly and kept Bret ticking over and it became 4-1 when a ball out of defence found Cox, whose perfectly timed pass to Cole was the start of a brilliant team goal.
Cole’s forward pass to Green was then knocked on to the unmarked Dufty in the Norwich D and her finish was sublime as she swept the ball high into the Norwich City net.
This game could not have been played without the faultless umpiring of Les Crookson and Karen Fynn and thanks go to both for stepping in at short notice and also to the amazing supporters.
Report compiled with the help of Vicky Watkins.