Testing time for Knutsford HC Ladies.
The first half saw the Ladies struggle to put their game together and relentless attacks by Timperley had to be resolutely defended by a strong Knutsford defence and man of the match (and new) goalkeeper Fran Hatton. Timperley were playing well but couldn’t finish their play off. Eventually though, Timperley found their way through to make it one-nil and a belief that the floodgates would now open.
As usual the Ladies had not read the script. Within two minutes of the re-start Nat Riley had made it one all with some fine interplay that at last saw the Ladies beginning to respond to the challenge. This jolted Timperley who then stepped up their game with the last 10 minutes of the first half seeing some desperate Knutsford defending. The half time whistle brought some respite for the Ladies who had done well to go in honours even. Timperley on the other hand could only be kicking themselves for not being four or five goals up at this stage.
The second half saw both sides playing good end to end hockey with honours even for large periods. However, a weak shot from a Timperley penalty corner somehow crawled its way from the top of the D to the back of the goal without a Knutsford player seemingly wanting to do anything about it. 2-1 Timperley.
Again Knutsford had to fight back. Despite still facing considerable Timperley pressure the Ladies managed to produce a number of well organised attacks that saw Timperley produce some solid but on occasion clumsy defending. A resulting penalty corner was expertly converted by Natalie Riley with a rocket of a shot just over the legs of the prone Timperley goalkeeper to make it 2-2.
With both sides visibly tiring in what had been a very fast and competitive game, the final whistle left the teams honours even. Timperly will be kicking themselves for not wrapping the game up by half-time, the Ladies rightly congratulating themselves on a resolute performance and a deserved draw.
Photo: Back row (L-R): Liz Armstrong, Caz Daniel, Sarah Feilding (capt), H Paton, Olivia Scott, Kat Heine
Front row: Sarah Crabtree, Caz Orchard, Katie Allan, Nic Jackson, Tanya Westenraad, Nat Riley and Michelle Caulfield