Hockey: Marlborough ladies wind up the season with a great game on the south coast
After last week's win over West Wilts which saw the team clinch the second spot in the league, this final game of the season against the league winners Bournemouth was an opportunity for Marlborough to go out, relax and play some great hockey.
As the game was scheduled for a 10am pushback, it was a very early meet at the pitches.
After a good intense warm up in the sunshine, Marlborough were ready for the battle ahead. Straight from the pushback Marlborough had the majority of the possession with great attacking work by Catherin Manley, Ness Pickford-Smith, Sophie Fyn, Rachel Cox, Millie Dawson, Anna Strover plus Alice Fanshawe, who within the first minute won a short corner.
With end-to-end action Marlborough had the majority of the possession, however the Bournemouth keeper proved to be very difficult to get around - she was in excellent form saving many shots on goal.
On a couple of occasions Marlborough managed to beat the goalkeeper, but a defender stopped the ball dead on the line.
Just before half time Bournemouth slotted in a nicely worked short corner. 1-0 to Bournemouth, but Marlborough worked hard - they hadn't travelled this far not to put up a fight.
Marlborough started the second half very strongly with defensive play by Anna Scott, Beth Palfrey, Emily Carter-Davies, Annabel Ashley, Ami Davidson and Tori Williams.
Bournemouth broke through and attacked and Chloe Darlington in goal was kept very busy making some phenomenal saves and keeping Marlborough in the game.
The passing, distribution and possession play was the best Marlborough have produced all season and Bournemouth said it was the best game they have played this year.
Marlborough battled hard to equal the score, but no goal was not forthcoming. Bournemouth sealed their victory with a second goal just before the final whistle.
All said this has been a fantastic season for the team with the heartbreak of the relegation last year finally put to bed. To finish second in a tough league when at Christmas the side sat in seventh place shows a fighting spirit and great determination.
It is very apparent that the incredible team spirit has carried this side through the ups and downs of this season and the team aim for 2017/2018 is to be league winners.
The Marlborough News Online Player of the Match went to Chloe Darlington.