Investec Women’s National Premier League
Bowdon Hightown HC 3-3 Holcombe HC
Scorers: Bowdon Hightown HC: Lily Wolstenholme, Lisa Garbutt (x2)
Holcombe HC: Sarah Jones (x2), Ellie Watton
Bowdon HC, Bowdon
After securing their fifth win of the season at Holcombe Park last week, Holcombe women made the long trip north to Bowdon Hightown on the weekend, looking to keep the pressure on early pace-setters Surbiton.
Perennial Premier League outfit Bowdon have had a difficult start to their campaign; winning just one of their opening 7 fixtures.
With Holcombe claiming maximum points in the fixture last season with a strong team performance, Coach Kevin Johnson was looking for a repeat of last week’s goal-scoring rush.
Early in the contest, it appeared that his side had listened to his requests. A blistering opening period saw the visitors take an early two goal lead courtesy of two open play goals from the talismanic Sarah Jones.
Some fantastic link play from Jones and Flor Zapulla down the right channel released Jones in the circle to fire into the bottom left corner of the goal to give Holcombe an early advantage.
Shortly after, the lead was doubled through similar circumstances.
Great small unit play from the Kent side again found Jones with space in the Bowdon circle to calmly guide the ball into the bottom right corner.
As the half wore on, Bowdon began to grow into the contest and some bad challenges saw the game escalate with cards being shown to both sides.
With such a ferocious end to the first period, the second half exploded into life with the hosts utilising an aggressive press to force a series of turnovers in the Holcombe ranks. The Kent side maintained the majority of possession but looking to force the ball through contact gave Bowdon a series of opportunities as they wrestled back the momentum.
Holcombe struggled to cover the loss of Sarah Jones, who was side-lined for the entire second half with a hamstring injury and it wasn’t long until the hosts took full advantage. A brilliant individual effort from youngster Lily Wolstenholme saw her carry the ball forward at pace before lifting over the on-rushing Aurora Mears in the Holcombe goal.
Bowdon continued to pressure and it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that the game was thrown wide open with 3 goals in 5 minutes.
A cross from the left wing for the hosts saw Lisa Garbutt get the finishing touch to level the scores seven minutes from time.
Two minutes late, Holcombe regained the advantage with Ellie Watton providing the finishing touch to a well worked penalty corner routine from captain Steph Elliott, only for the hosts to immediately respond with another crashed ball form the right wing for Garbutt to apply the finishing touches again to level the scores at an incredible 3-3.
Speaking after the game, side-lined Emma Trunks of Holcombe said; “Due to injuries, a lot of players were utilised in a position they weren’t accustomed to. We need to make sure our preparation is spot on for games like these and it just shows how competitive this league is with a 2 goal cushion never being safe.”
Next week, Holcombe entertain the University of Birmingham at Holcombe Park in a 12pm fixture on Saturday.
Pictures supplied by www.groutphotography.co.uk