Hard fought draw for Alnwick hockey at Darlington
DARLINGTON 1STS 1ALNWICK LADIES 1STS 1Alnwick travelled to Darlington for their first away game of the season and in unexpectedly good weather and on a fast, new pitch at Carmel College, they started on the back foot.
Alnwick’s passing game began nervously. Spirits were raised by the arrival of Byers and Graham back into the squad and Graham slowed Darlington’s initial attacking efforts with incisive tackling in defence. Byers’s speed onto the ball was helpful and things began to come together for the away side.
Early in the first half Alnwick benefited from driving play down the right wing by Ryder-Somerville. The game seemed evenly matched until the home team made a succession of attacking moves in the final minutes when a shot slid inside the right post.
The second half was exciting with both goalkeepers kept busy by shots on target. A Darlington player used the hand or arm to keep out one of Alnwick’s efforts (a foul in the penalty circle preventing the probable scoring of a goal), and a penalty flick was awarded. In tense moments, the first stroke was saved by the Darlington goalkeeper diving to her right; however, she was seen to move from her line before the ball was struck. With the rules not allowing the goalkeeper to move their feet until the ball is played, the umpire reawarded the penalty. Payne was not to be denied a second time from the seven yard line and she smartly fired Alnwick’s equaliser through just above the height of the backboard.
The captain’s goal was rejuvenating for Alnwick and this period of play saw further strikes by Pringle and Pettifer saved by the Darlington ‘keeper. Darlington also had their share of dangerous attacking moves including one where the ball hit the inside of the left post and bounced straight across the face of the goal.
Towards the end of the match, Alnwick had short corners awarded and were able to keep the ball consistently in Darlington’s half, but there were no more entries on the scoreboard and this left the result a hard fought draw.
Team: A. Payne (C), C. Reed, L. Brown, E. Pringle, B. Fergie, S. Courty, H. Byers, R. Murray, J. Graham, S. Ryder-Somerville, G. Pettifer, H. Lapham (GK).