On Saturday 3rd, Kirkby Stephen Ladies 1st team had their second league game, and took on Harrogate Ladies 1sts at home. With a shift in rules and regulations stipulated by the government and England Hockey, the players arrived changed and ready to begin their thorough warm up.
The weather made it difficult to get the first touch, and stay on foot, but Harrogate managed to pressure the home side for the first 10 minutes, with the majority of the play in the home side’s defensive half of pitch. However, Kirkby Stephen soon stepped up, with Lucy Potter winning a free hit on the half way line. Anna Pigney quickly reacted to the advantage and caught the defence out, she played a great through-ball to Julie Hope, who swept the ball past the keeper into the net, 1-0.
Harrogate tried to press again, but KS managed to break with the ball, and with some back-and-forth play, Lucy Potter picked the ball up on the ride side of the D, Potter dodged past a couple of defenders, and then dinked the ball over another defender, played it back to Julie Hope, who hit it first time lifted past the keeper into the left of the netting, 2-0.
Harrogate continued to press but with KS’s superb young keeper, Sophie Winder, saving shots at all angles, with the defence (Mel Parkin, Vicki Capstick, Jenny Coates, Kara Simpson and Jessica Harrison) cleaning up and clearing the ball throughout the game.
After a team talk at half time, Harrogate stepped up again in the start of the second half. Harrogate managed to sneak the ball into the D, with an attacker sprinting in, knocking the ball over the goal line, 2-1.
Harrogate scored their second goal after a scramble after 3 penalty corners in the D, and KS managed to save the ball from crossing the line, but the umpire awarded the away side with a penalty flick. Harrogate’s player stepped up, a fellow Cumbrian (originally from Kirkby Lonsdale Hockey Club), to face Sophie Winder in the goals. Although Sophie was close to saving the ball with her stick whilst diving to the right, Harrogate managed to gain their second goal, 2-2.
From this point, with some hope for Harrogate, the game was a fight from end to end. With some tremendous play throughout the pitch with the defence, midfield (Rach Gowing, Catherine Ewbank, Heidi Maughan, Julie Hope, and Anthea Bowman) and forwards (Lucy Potter, Anna Pigney, and Ella Capstick).
Vicki Capstick played the ball forward, with it bouncing over the defender’s stick, Julie Hope ran and picked up the ball, playing a one-two with Lucy Potter in the D, and Hope snook the ball past the keeper, from a tight angle, into the goal, 3-2.
Kirkby Stephen continued to push for a confirmed win, Julie Hope played a disguised ball to Anthea Bowman in the D, who deflected the ball towards the top left of the goal, where Anna Pigney volleyed the ball past the keeper, with some aerial skills from both players, to score a belting 4th goal, to finish the game at 4-2.
“Man of the match” was awarded to birthday girl, Julie Hope, after her endless efforts on the pitch, with involvement in all of the goals. Most definitely deserving that birthday cake at the end of the day!