HOCKEY: Skipper strikes four as ladies extend hot form

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Rutland Ladies 4 Cambridge South Ladies 1

RUTLAND emerged victorious from their first home game of the season despite a slow start against Cambridge South.

Camped in their own half, Rutland found it difficult to cope with the visitors high and narrow pressing game, and resorted to trying to hit their way out. Despite Vicky Salt saving several shots, Cambridge deservedly opened the scoring from a short corner.

This woke Rutland up and the balance of the match began to shift.

Nikki Perry and Clare England, in their second game together, started to form a nice unit at the back and as they began to dominate Katie Richardson distributed the ball with growing confidence

Charlie Gregg created several opportunities and there were several near misses before Rutland’s first goal eventually came from Penny Skipper who ran round the back of the Cambridge defence before slotting the ball past the keeper from the tightest of angles.

Rutland’s dominance increased in the second half with Lucy Ginn and Nic Cage both having the better of their respective markers.

Kimberly Cooil, not a prolific goalscorer, successfully flicked it over the keeper only for it to fall the wrong side of the post, while Gregg again went close, and Anne Pollock, top goalscorer for the last two seasons, was curiously out of sorts.

However, Skipper was able to add three more goals to her first half effort, including a delicate dink over the goalkeeper and secure Rutland’s first home win of the season.

Rutland: Vicky Salt, Nikki Perry, Clare England, Nic Cage, Kim Cooil, Katie Richardson, Anne Pollock, Ella Brahmachari, Penny Skipper, Charlie Gregg, Lucy Ginn.

Rutland Ladies 2nd 2

Cambridge Nomads Ladies 3

RUTLAND’S seconds started their second league game of the season with a burst of energy and confidence on the ball with some great attacking play.

Rutland showed great skill from several players upfront including Fiona Ginn, Hebe Parsons and Molly King, and this led to Ginn scoring from a reverse stick flick past the Nomads’ goalkeeper.

Rutland attacked with increased confidence after scoring the opening goal as Cambridge were struggling to work out how to tackle the Rutlanders’ play.

However, new goalkeeper Pippa Stubbs was called into action, making a great diving stop to avoid Cambridge getting a goal back just before half time.

Rutland doubled their lead when Ginn, Megan Wright and Parsons linked well to tee up Ginn for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, which she converted for a 2-0 lead at half time.

The second half was a different story with Rutland starting to tire and a few changes to positions that allowed Cambridge to build up some momentum.

Great defence from player-of-the-match Jess Hayward and Alex Haggis allowed Rutland to make some breaks, and Hazel Perry had a strong game on the left.

Lottie Thraves had a great game on the left wing as Rutland tried to counter attack but they could not stop Cambridge coming back with three goals.

Skipper Jennifer Pollock said: “This was a great improvement on last week’s performance and the team are starting to come together.

“There is some great consistency of players every week and by gaining experience at a higher level and the side will improve with every game.”

Rutland 2nd: Pippa Stubbs, Jennifer Pollock, Hazel Perry, Jess Hayward, Alex Haggis, Megan Wright, Fiona Ginn, Molly King, Lottie Thraves, Polly Hurst, Hebe Parsons, and Bea Clifford.