Rutland Hockey Club ladies remain top of the Cambridgeshire League after drawing 1-1 with third-placed Newmarket on Saturday.
The home side made the early headway at Uppingham with Anne Pollock adding to her growing goal tally in the first half and Rutland could have added to their tally before being pegged back.
Rutland had arrived understandably nervous ahead of their clash with one of the top two teams in the league.
They had been guilty of starting slowly in previous games but made sure there was no repeat in this game.Rutland were tight all over the pitch, closing down space in midfield and not allowing Newmarket any time on the ball at the back.
Nikki Perry and Rachel Richardson in particular superb at tracking back and this early pressure paid off as Newmarket were forced into conceding a free hit just outside the circle. A piece of opportunism from Anne Pollock caught the defence off guard and she rounded the keeper to give the Rutlanders the lead.
The rolling substitutes in the forward line kept the pressure on Newmarket’s defence and the experienced Rutland backline of Lucy Eayrs and Charlotte Knight easily mopped up any counter attacks.
Rutland deserved to double their lead before half time with several short corners coming close and Penny Skipper and Charlie Gregg also having opportunities from open play.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were a similar story with Rutland pushing for the second goal but with no success.
As the second half wore on, the game became more heated with both teams becoming agitated. This lead to some scrappy play and several key Rutland players picking up injuries.
Without these players, Rutland lost some of their structure and Rutland conceded a soft goal with ten minutes to play.
The rest of the game was understandably tense with both teams pushing hard for the victory but, despite finishing on the front foot, Rutland couldn’t find another goal.
However, with second-placed Wisbech also dropping points by drawing with Cambridge University, the Rutland girls remain top of the table and in pole position for promotion.
Rutland’s next match is not until March 9 when they host Spalding 2nd.