England Hockey Womens Premier Division
Saturday 18th November 2007
Report and photos by John Coxon
Poynton Draw : Bowdon Hightown lose.
Ipswich Ladies made the long journey North to Belle Vue, Manchester for their return match with newly promoted Poynton and the first half clearly caught them off guard.
Poynton were looking to capitalise on their first win in the league against Old Loughtonians last weekend and the game was to see the welcome return, for Poynton, of Helen Armishaw recovered from her broken thumb sustained at the Ipswich away leg. Ironically, talented Jenny Hall was missing from the Ipswich squad for the Manchester game from a recently broken thumb. Poynton came out firing on all cylinders with prolific striker Cath Linaker putting them ahead in open play after just seven minutes. Nicola White scored on sixteen minutes and just five minutes later Jane Ambler put one home, again in open play.
Captain Becky Baker got a point back for the visitors with a clinical flick penalty on 24 minutes. But in the second half Ipswich moved up a gear , gradually clawing back the game with a goal in open play from Miriam Fabregas on 38 minutes. Becky Baker sealed the draw, again in open play, in the 47th minute. Neither side were able to take advantage of several penalty corner opportunities that arose in the game. Ipswich were expecting a competitive game having registered a narrow 2-1 victory when Poynton visited Tuddenham Road and were disappointed not to get the win and having to be content with a draw. Equally Poynton remained competitive throughout and rightfully are growing in confidence as the season progresses.
The result leaves Poynton second from bottom of the league above Old Loughtonians (against whom Poynton secured their only victory thus far in their debut season) Ipswich slip to sixth but still within a point of fourth. Bowdon Hightown, second in the table fell victim at home to visitors Olton & West Warwicks who came out 3-2 ahead thanks to two goals from penalty corners from Olton's Lucilla Wright in the 11th and 44th minute with Rachel Walker scoring on 20 minutes in open play. Bowdon's Tina Cullen had scored in open play just a minute after the start push back and Sally Walton scored from a penalty corner on 35 minutes. Bowdon remain second in the league on 25 points behind Slough (27) with Olton on 15, four points behind third placed Leicester. Ipswich currently share14 points with Canterbury who remain ahead on goal difference.
Ipswich take on league leaders Slough next weekend at Tuddenham Road whilst Poynton have their return leg at Clifton Ladies. Bowdon are away to Old Loughtonians but also have Clifton next day in the EH Women's Cup whereas Ipswich have the short straw for their Cup match, once again with an even longer trek north, this time at Sunderland Ladies.
More photographs from the Bellevue game can be viewed here Ipswich v Poynton
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS