Winscombe Ladies gain promotion as league champions

PUBLISHED: 12:46 28 March 2018

Winscombe Ladies Hockey Club.

Winscombe Ladies Hockey Club.

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Winscombe Ladies gained promotion as champions of the Central League and next year will play in the West Clubs Women's Premier League.

After a double header at the weekend, Winscombe Ladies made it impossible for other teams to catch them and have become the Central League champions.

For the first time in the club’s history Winscombe will be playing in the West Clubs Women’s Premier Division.

Winscombe Ladies 1st XI 2

Taw Valley Ladies 1st XI 0

The weekend started with a nervous, but confident battle against Taw Valley.

Taw Valley certainly made Winscombe work, but the defensive unit of Caroline Marsh, Chloe Brown, Leanne Gardner and Charlie Phillips successfully kept Taw away from keeper Kate Dennis.

Winscombe worked solidly as a unit and the midfield unit of Kelly Clark, Holly Tyson, Imogen Marsh, Hannah Preston and Michelle Isgar dominated the central part of the pitch.

Forwards Sarah Holland, Hannah Coogan, Gabby Richardson and Tia Craig worked tirelessly to maintain pressure on the Taw goalkeeper and defenders.

After a short corner, Winscombe’s player of the match Caroline Marsh opened the scoring with her first goal of the season after a slick short corner routine. It was not long until Tia Craig with Winscombe’s second goal, which was created from strong teamwork.

On the final whistle, the score was 2-0 to Winscombe and this only meant one thing, it was official Winscombe could no longer be caught and with one game to go Winscombe were crowned league champions.

Winscombe Ladies 1st XI 5

Taunton Vale Ladies 3rd XI 0

Winscombe maintained pressure on Taunton Vale and kept the ball in their attacking half making Taunton’s keeper and defensive unit work hard.

The game was goalless for some time, but Winscombe’s patience and confidence shone through during this time and the scoring was started by joint player of the match Tia Craig, who got her second goal of the weekend.

Shortly after the first goal fellow forward and player of the match Gabby Richardson followed up with a second goal after a collective attack from the whole team and a magnificent cross from Sarah Holland that Richardson cracked against the backboard.

Not to be outdone by her the forwards, Holland got herself on the scoresheet, making the score 3-0. It was cheers and smiles all round for Winscombe, but with level heads, the game continued as there was still a clean sheet to be maintained.

With this in mind, Winscombe continued to keep the ball right in front of Taunton’s keeper and after being awarded a short corner, Caroline Marsh netted her second of the weekend.

The game did not end there and Holland sent the ball flying past the Taunton keeper again following yet another team attack.

The hard work of vice-captain and former captain Kelly Clark had paid off and the celebrations started immediately for this momentous occasion.

Mid Somerset Ladies 2nd XI 1

Winscombe Ladies 3rd XI 0

Winscombe knew this week’s match would be a tough one and they were right.

Winscombe keeper Elainna Teare, together with defenders Sarah Johnson, Kat Dee, Jo Horwood and Steph Osmant had a busy first half. But they kept their heads and released the midfielders to build counter attacks.

The best chance in the first-half for Winscombe was a cross angled across the D by Gail Izzard, which Helen Sinclair and Ella Hutchinson both just missed.

With the score goalless at half-time, Winscombe felt whoever scored first would win the match and they unfortunately were proved correct. However, Mid Somerset did not score until the 20th minute of the second half.

Winscombe managed to clear all of Mid Somerset’s penalty corner attacks and there were more than a dozen of them with saves and clearances off the line by player of the match Teare, Osmant and Emma Whitehead.

Winscombe never gave up and they were unlucky to not convert a short corner as Maddy Bawden’s conversion was just above the backboard. Hutchinson, Bawden, Anya Laurence and Izzi Morgan never stopped working, but it was not to be.

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