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Hockey: Heartbreak for Harlow as they fall to Chelmsford

Lifestyle / Mon 23rd Feb 2015 pm28 06:52pm

Ladies 2’s vs Chelmsford 5’s; Home at Leventhorpe Sports and Leisure Centre
Saturday 21st February 2015

Harlow Ladies 2’s lost out at home to Chelmsford 5’s in their league decider on Saturday; but what they lost in points they certainly made up for in atmosphere as they delivered a spectacular display of skill and speed in what has been described by both camps as one of the best “Matches of the Season”.

The girls, having learnt from previous games started extremely strongly and the ball was quickly passed into the attacking third; T Taylor passed to Midfielder S Donaghey in the Centre who passed right to L Dearman,

L Horrax collected the pass at the top of the D but the shot fell wide of the goal. Chelmsford recovered quickly and unfortunately for the girls the speed of the away team’s break became apparent.

As they converted the run and won a penalty flick when a shot at the Goal hit Harlow Defender SCare’s shin-pad on the Goal Line. L Rowley made a good attempt at a save but the ball flew just under her right arm hitting the net and scoring the Away Team the first goal of the Game.

Chelmsford quickly made the score 2-0 to them when the next break proved just as quick and they slipped the ball to the right of the left post from the top of the D.

Clearly wounded from the quick assault on their net Harlow pulled together and fought back hard; SAlderson intercepted a pass on the right wing and ran the ball towards the Away D; passing into the D the ball deflected from a Defenders stick; Forward TNaidoo converted the pass and scored to the right of the Keepers right boot; pulling Harlow back from the brink to 2-1;

With renewed enthusiasm the girls pushed on and shortly before half time levelled the score at 2-2; O Figg blocking the ball on the right passed up to C Tooze in the centre; the ball was cleared of the D and collected by N Johnson-Marshall on the left wing; her preceding pass back into the D was collected by T Taylor who swiped at the ball; saved by the Chelmsford keeper, T Naidoo collected the save and smashed the ball back into the net to the right of the keeper. With roars from the crowd the girls ended the first half level on two goals all.

The second half started quickly; but having re-grouped Chelmsford were instantly strong at the front; six minutes into the second half they went ahead when a strike from the opt of the D fell short of the Harlow keepers’ right foot. Un-deterred the girls continued to push on although quick on the breaks Harlow had the majority of the possession and the game was played mainly in the Away teams’ D; three short corners were awarded to Harlow but strong defending from Chelmsford meant they were unable to convert some truly excellent attempts on the net to count; three more near misses followed as it became apparent that luck was not, on this occasion with the Harlow side as they unsuccessfully fought to once again even the score;

The breaks were few and far between for Chelmsford, but unfortunately for the home girls, were quick and Harlow succumbed to the speed of the Chelmsford forwards as towards the dying minutes of the game and under an increasingly darkening sky Chelmsford broke the Harlow midfield and shot home their fourth goal of the game.

Down but not out the girls continued to fight; N Donaghey passed to R Rickett who collected a pass in the middle third and ran the ball towards the D; a pass landed at T Taylor who fought tirelessly to convert the pass; but to no avail; when Chelmsford scored their fifth and sixth of the game following a short run down the right of the pitch; and a strike from the top of the D which slipped between the tip of S Care’s stick and L Rowley’s left boot, Harlow all but accepted their fate; but in a display of strength, bravery, passion and belief the Team pulled together and rocketed the ball back up towards the Chelmsford D; A final shot at goal from S Donaghey was denied as the whistle blew for full time just as the first bullets of hail fell from the sky.

The result now leaves the girls second in the table to Chelmsford, but they are already looking forward to next week’s match against Southend 3’s, away at St Thomas More School.

Chelmsford congratulated the girls on their performance by saying that it was by far the best game they had played in a long time and they were not surprised at the girls position in the league given the level of skill demonstrated in the game today. They named Harlow as by far the fastest and friendliest team they had played in the league;

Player of the Match went to Tanishka Naidoo. HHC would like to extend massive thanks and appreciation to the huge number of supporters this week; Chelmsford themselves described the atmosphere as electric.

Captain S Donaghey rounded up the day by saying: “Even though Harlow lost they played their hearts out to the very end. As their captain I am so proud of their performance today; I don’t mind losing when I know we all played to our absolute best”

Coach J Forrester added “They competed for everything and fought tooth and nail right to the end; that is more than most Teams would do. You cannot teach or coach that, it is something that comes from deep within and is the key to any successful team… I am proud to be part of such a fantastic bunch of girls”

Team:

Coach: Joely Forrester
Captain: Sarah Donaghey

Keeper: Linda Rowley
Defenders: Samantha Care, Nicole Donaghey, Olivia Figg
Midfielders: Nina-Johnson Marshall, Sarah Donaghey, Lara Horrax, Caroline Tooze, Sarah Alderson and Lucy Dearman
Forwards: Tracey Taylor, Rowena Rickett and Tanishka Naidoo

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