Report and photo John Coxon
With what must be the highest score in the prem this season, which included a hat trick from leading Poynton striker Cath Linaker , second from bottom Prem debs Poynton Ladies , trashed and shocked third in the division Olton and West Warwicks 7-1 at Bellevue ( having crashed to them 4-1 last November in the away game ) The "never say die" prem novices were clearly on a new found high following their convincing 3-0 thrashing of local rivals and Prem high fliers Hightown the previous weekend. New kit, new website and now full acclimatised to the Prem with confidence rising and sustained at last! Confidence and belief is the difference between failure and success at this level and finally Poynton have found the pulse and come out firing on all cylinders.
With seemingly once mighty, but of late apparently fragile, Ipswich held by bottom of the league Old Loughts in a nil-nil draw, the last few games make it very probable that the Poynton Ladies may not have to do the tedious play off thing and will get sufficient points to stay up. On the other hand , if they go to the play off, second in the lower league will stand little chance against them on this form! Elsewhere , Clifton Ladies beat Chelmsford 4-2 at Chelmer Park and Chelmsford are a mere two points above Poynton. Poynton scared Canterbury at Bellevue , according to player coach Mel Clewlow, in their first game in the Prem (when Canterbury managed a late goal to secure a narrow victory) and can't be relishing the prospect of Poynton's visit to Polo Farm next weekend. Struggling Old Loughts and similarly vulnerable Chelmsford have yet to face Poynton at Bellevue in the last two games of the season and , at last , Poynton know that their future is in their own hands and staying up on merit is well within their grasp. I have no doubt that they will stay up.
According to Poynton's hard working and unassuming captain Dr . Sinead McCarthy, the Olton game was end to end stuff but the local team grafted throughout and tried to shut the opposition down as they did against Hightown in the local Derby the previous weekend. Olton hit them hard the first ten minutes and yet Poynton's first goal was against the run of play with top scoring Cath Linaker netting after just six minutes from a penalty corner. Poynton stuck to their task and were all over the opposition like a rash and it paid. Katie Maltman fired home in open play after 32 minutes and again after a penalty corner struck again on 42 minutes. Sinead was full of praise for the team's effort and how the girls sustained the pressure and pushed hard till the final whistle and just took every chance that came up. As with Barnsley , in the football the same weekend , the Gods shine hard on those who graft honestly without conceit or fear and Poynton got the result they worked for and richly deserved.
Pip Jones hit number four home in open play on 43 minutes with Olton's Lisa Hunter getting what was to be the consolation goal five minutes later in open play. Prolific Cath Linaker stung the visitors with a goal in open play 56th minute and then rubbed in the salt 5 minutes later with another score in open play for her hat trick. Helen Armishaw, "H", with now fully healed but previously nastily broken thumb sealed and incredible victory with an open play strike on 63 minutes and it was game over.
In other games, following their lesson in humility from newcomers Poynton, Hightown more typically drubbed Leicester 5-1 with Leicester's Alexis Williamson getting some consolation from a penalty stroke. League high fliers Slough beat Canterbury 2-0.
Michael Bradley Photography
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