Report and photographs from John Coxon
In only their second season in the Premiership, Poynton Ladies Hockey Club continued their recent successful run in the Slazenger EH Women’s Premier Division with a 3-1 win over struggling Chelmsford, Saturday, 14th March at the Regional Hockey Centre , Bellevue , Manchester. This followed an impressive but hard fought away win at Canterbury and a home draw, the next day, with last year’s champions, Slough the previous weekend in a re-arranged match played at Brooklands Hockey Club. It was recently announced that Poynton Ladies 1sts will merge with Brooklands next season and will be known as Brooklands Poynton. The merger will help strengthen the Brookland’s Ladies section but also provide Poynton, for the first time, with permanent headquarters at the impressive George Road facility.
Poynton played their best hockey in the first half, dominating play and yet it was Chelmsford who opened the scoring with a goal, in open play, from number 7, Libby Knifton on seventeen minutes. Poynton drew level with an equaliser from Helen Armishaw (16) in open play on twenty eight minutes following a fine individual run that was not challenged by the surprised Chelmsford defence. The second half saw a number of controversies, with some carding and two goals agonisingly disallowed for Poynton. Two flicks were awarded however to the home team, the first of which Helen Armishaw made no mistake about on the 64th minute. Her second was a weaker delivery and did not trouble Lynsey Warren in nets.
Poynton have been a stronger force this season, specialising in giving stronger teams a severe run for their money but have not always acquitted themselves so well against the weaker opponents they have faced. Non the less, the two former great clubs, but currently struggling for points at the bottom of the table ,respectively , Chelmsford and Ipswich look the most likely to be contesting for the playoffs. Poynton look comfortable six points ahead of third from bottom Trojans. They play Ipswich at Tuddenham Rd next weekend with their final match of the season, (and last premiership game at Bellevue before the move to Brooklands), against 2nd in the table Olton & West Warwicks Ladies 1s . Elsewhere Bowdon Hightown continued their unbroken run way out clear at the top of the table.
Visit johncoxon.com for more photographs from the Poynton v Chelmsford game.
photos Janos Schmidt