Hockey: with a spring in their step Marlborough Ladies win the season's final game
In the blazing spring sunshine of a rare April fixture, Marlborough Ladies finally turned their festival-style hockey into a result against mid-table Hereford.
This was the final game of the season and with no pressure on the Marlborough team, they were out to get a win and enjoy the day.
In the first half, the ball pinged left to right as Rachel Jackson marshalled the middle and Philippa Brown on the right and Beth Palfrey on the left found acres of space.
With Rachel Cox, Sophie Fynn and Lottie Colquhoun always looking dangerous with their penetrating runs, Marlborough pressed strongly into the Hereford D supported by Catherine Manley and Milly Dawson.
With a few Marlborough short-corners just inching wide or high, all Hereford could muster were crash balls through the middle which were capably dealt with by the Marlborough defence of Sarah Kendall, Ness Pickford-Smith, Julie Fellows and the ever lively Vicky Moxham.
However, as the sides changed ends at 0-0, Marlborough's loyal but long-suffering supporters and coach must have felt a strong sense of déjà vu.
The eventual breakthrough for the home team came as Rachel Jackson teed up a cute pass from the middle of the field to Rosie Curling who drove the ball towards the goal then along the base line setting up Sophie Fynn to finish off the move for her first goal for the club. And what a precious goal it was!
The drama was not to finish there, however, as Heather Barnes drove once again for goal, but her now customary header of the ball merely resulted in further make-up dilemmas ahead of the team night out, and Rachel Cox too proved an injury magnet as Hereford could not live with her silky skills.
Despite a series of Hereford short-corners, Marlborough's defence once again proved just too good and the team held out for a well-deserved 1-0 win.
As one of the team explained: "It's an excellent result to finish off a frustrating, but highly enjoyable season. Even if it was not fully appreciated by the next generation of players who all seemed to snooze the entire way through the drama in their prams!"
Marlborough News Online player of the game was awarded to Sophie Fynn for her tireless work in the opposition's 23 and, of course, for the all important goal.