Last weekend saw the Guildford Ladies travel up to Nottingham Trent University to take part in the Jaffa Super 6 Division 2 play offs. As the only team in the competition who are not in the outdoor national league, the GHC Ladies' objectives were to play at the highest level of performance they could, enjoy themselves and soak up the experience of playing at such a high level. Little did they expect...
Saturday 18 January
Guildford v Trojans - 4-2 Win
The first two games on Saturday were against teams that had beaten Guildford in the South Division 2 qualifiers. First, the opener against Trojans, saw quite a cagey first quarter allowing both teams to settle in. The start of the second quarter saw two quick goals from Guildford’s Kerryn Swanepoel and Maddie Richardson. This was then countered by a goal from Trojans. That was the final score of the game, 4-2.
Guildford v Ipswich - 6-5 Win
Guildford’s second game and the final game of the day was against Ipswich. This match turned into a highly exciting, if not nerve wracking, spectacle for the travelling supporters. The first quarter saw both sides creating opportunities, but no score. The second quarter saw an explosive five minutes with goals from Guildford’s Kelly Taylor and Julia Blackstock, but the lead was short-lived with two in reply from Ipswich. The opposition extended their lead early in the second half but shortly before the end of the quarter Kerryn Swanepoel pulled one back for Guildford. With three minutes to go Guildford brought the scores level with another penalty corner from Kerryn. Ipswich then took the lead again from the restart, however, Guildford’s Maddie Richardson found the net twice in the last 2 minutes to give Guildford the win 6-5.
Sunday 19 January
Guildford v Gloucester City - 2-12 Loss
Sunday saw Guildford’s first game take on Gloucester City, “the team to beat”. Guildford started brightly when Kerryn Swanepoel converted a penalty corner to take the lead. However, in the space of 5 minutes Gloucester had an incredible period and scored six goals. The second quarter saw Guildford steady the ship and whilst Gloucester scored a further goal, Guildford’s Maddie Richardson also found the net. In the second half Gloucester scored a further 5 goals to punish the Guildford side heavily 12-2.
Guildford v Bedford - 4-2 Win
Guildford’s second game was against Bedford and the GHC Ladies were determined to come back hard after the previous game's heavy defeat. However, it was Bedford that took the initiative scoring twice in the first quarter. The second quarter saw a different Guildford and they brought the scores level with a penalty corner from Kerryn Swanepoel and a further goal from Maddie Richardson. At the close of the third quarter Kerryn scored again and in the final minute of the game Emma Stewart scored for a final score of 4-2.
Guildford v Stourpourt - 5-5 Draw
The final game against Stourport was a mouth watering prospect with all to play for with both teams in with a chance of gaining promotion to Division 1. Guildford started well and it was not long before Kerryn Swanepoel opened the scoring. She then extended the lead. Stourport needed to score 5 clear goals more than Guildford and the next 20 minutes it looked as if that was gong to happen with them getting to a 5-2 lead. With five minutes to play Guildford took their keeper off and played with six outfield players. Guildford’s captain lead the charge and found the net to bring the score back to 5-3. This was followed in the final couple of minutes by two quick goals from Maddie Richardson to bring the scores level at 5-5.
The draw was enough to secure Guildford second place and promotion to National Division 1 next season.
The Guildford squad: Alice Cobb, Julia Blackstock [Cpt], Hannah Bodoano, Anja Atkin, Kelly Taylor, Lara Vincent, Maddie Richardson, Emma Stewart, Eliza Wheeler and Emma Stewart. Coach, Shay O’Connell, Manager, Andrew Fergusson.
See all of the detailed results here on the England Hockey Altiusrt system:
EH Super 6s National Division 2 Finals