Marshland High School under 16 girls, the U16 District hockey champions took on a strong Neale-Wade (March) team in a farewell friendly.
Neale-Wade are a lot bigger school, have their very own onsite artifical facility and serve March Town HC.
Mr Swinburn had arranged the match as a farewell to a group of students that have, over the last five years, given so much to the school. The head of PE at Neale-Wade is Mr James Crawley, someone who learned hockey when he was a pupil at Marshland High. He went on to play high level hockey with Lynn’s Pelicans Hockey Club first team.
Marshland had a tactic of keeping the ball possession as high up the pitch as possible, to deny the opposition space and time.
Abbie Thurley and Beth Slack forced early errors with their endless running.
It wasn’t long before Marshland’s dominance paid off. A lovely tackle by Beth Brooker, sent Bethan McCarthy into space, who crossed the ball into the shooting circle. Slack did enough to put off the defender and Ellie Brown smashed her first time shot into the bottom left corner.
Fine runs by Brogan Moxey and lovely stick skills by Thurley forced penalty corners for Marshland that were taken beautifully by Ellie Hilton. Her precise deliveries allowed great shots on goal by Thurley and Brooker, both well saved by the keeper who also kept out rebounds from Slack and Hilton.
A fast breakaway by the opposition saw good defending from Ashleigh Jarvis-Lee and Emily Clare. A shot, from an angle, produced the best from goalkeeper, Danni Housden, ably helped by Phoebe Webster, who was playing her best-ever game.
Another goal followed while attacks were relentless, Brown and Moxey again going close with great skilful runs and shots by Trinity Drew, McCarthy and Slack.
Mr Swinburn gave his last team talk, saying: “It has been a pleasure coaching this group of students for five years and we all wish them well.”
Scorers: Beth Brooker, Ellie Brown.
Total record of league results are: Played 22, won 21, drawn 1, lost 0, goals for 68, against 5, points 63.
Players: Danni Housden, Trinity Drew, Phoebe Webster, Emily Clare, Ashleigh Jarvis-Lee, Bethan McCarthy, Beth Brooker (captain), Ellie Hilton, Ellie Brown (vice-capt), Brogan Moxey, Abbie Thurley, Beth Slack.