Ladies 2's sit pretty in 2nd!
By Jackie Batten-Lincoln
Oxford Ladies 5's 0 - 1 P&R 2's
P&R Ladies 2's made the hour long journey to Oxford Brookes worthwhile with a narrow 1-0 win over Oxford HC Ladies early on Saturday.
Hoping to get the game done and dusted before Storm Brian made his appearance the game pushed back bang on 10 after a solid warm up from the visitors. The first 15 minutes was a cagey affair with lots of lost possession and unfocussed play from both sides making it stop/start but the oranges should have gone ahead early on after Genevieve Porter slammed in a glorious ball from the right which whistled through the D and found Naomi Ashcroft waiting at the back post. Sadly, Ashcroft wasn't quite ready for the chance and the ball connected with feet rather than stick but it showed that Oxford could be opened up.
The ping-ping hockey continued throughout the half with neither team really taking control and putting together any flowing hockey (and a good number of whistles which broke up play). Hannah Doherty in the P&R goal was the busiest of the keepers though and made a string of strong defensive kicks and saves to keep the oranges level, before Pam Saker scored a surprising goal on 24 minutes. The ball was played in from the right and Saker, having moved up to left wing from left half, was there to sweep the ball home!!
After 5 minutes of goal celebrations the game continued with neither team dominating but lots of action in the middle of the pitch and some physical battles on both sides. P&R pushed hard to get a second with Deese Pointon, Porter and Jess Greener all trying to win some short corners but the team just couldn't get that vital second goal.
The second half saw far more pressure from Oxford on the visitors goal but the orange defence stood firm with Doherty again making great saves to keep a clean sheet. P&R lifted their effort levels again in the final ten minutes to get the security of a 2nd goal, but good defending from Oxford kept the nerves jangling until right at the end. With Jax Batten on the sideline having a heart attack every time we lost possession the clock finally counted down and the umpires put an end to the game with P&R securing a narrow win!
The team are sitting 2nd in Division Two which is a cracking position following last season's promotion and putting themselves in great shape as we go into the next round of fixtures.
The 2's now have a weekend off for half term and are back in action on 4th November at home to Oxford Hawks at 1pm.