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Back You are here: Home Sports Hockey Eastern Cape Hockey: Match Report - Kingswood vs Collegiate
Monday, 22 June 2015 16:37

Hockey: Match Report - Kingswood vs Collegiate

Collegiate travelled to Grahamstown for their derby fixture against Kingswood College. It is without doubt one of the toughest fixtures for any school, but Kingswood were wanting to bounce back after their derby loss the week before.

The Kingswood team has been playing attractive hockey this season, but haven’t always got the results that they deserved. They were determined to back up the process, with a good result against Collegiate. One of the key focus areas has been clinical finishing, which has let them down in recent games. Unfortunately for Collegiate, the Kingswood strikers seemed very motivated to sort that issue out, in the opening minutes of the match.

The game started with Kate von Holdt receiving a good pass on the half way line, and then used her speed to get an advantage on the outside of the Collegiate defence. She continued her strong run, driving into the circle with intent, and fired a shot away immediately. This seemed to catch the Collegiate keeper off-guard and an error meant that Kingswood were 1-0 ahead in the second minute of the match. A minute later Collegiate were desperately defending again, and if von Holdt had not lost her footing, Collegiate might have found themselves 2-0 down in 3 minutes. Kingswood had started perfectly, and Collegiate were under pressure early in the match. Kingswood continued to pile on the pressure in the opening minutes, and after a trade-mark Aimee-Leigh Pote run, Kingswood earned a long corner. She took the hit early and eliminated the defender in front of her, then crossed the ball towards the goals. Emma Fraser looked like she won a penalty stroke, hitting the last defender on the foot in front of goal; good umpiring by Andrew Benyon, allowed advantage for Hannah Lewis to apply the finish and Kingswood were 2-0 up within 5 minutes. It is easy to see why Aimee-Leigh Pote was selected as captain of the EP u18 side, as she continued to create clinical runs through the opposition defence throughout the season.

Collegiate restarted with determination and immediately won a penalty corner. Good defence kept both the initial PC (penalty corner), and the re-award out. Collegiate got themselves into the game in the 10th minute, after a defensive error, allowing Jessica Daniels to get ahead of her marker and apply a one-time finish through the legs of the Kingswood keeper. If Kingswood needed a sobering reality check, that was it.

Kingswood was attacking soon again, and a good save from Sarah Cowie kept out a good Aimee Pote shot. Despite her initial error, Cowie was starting to show her ability, and ended up having a superb game for Collegiate. The dangerous combination of Hannah Lewis and Aimee Pote, was becoming a big problem for Collegiate to deal with, as the match progressed. After more initial dominance, Kingswood were 3-1 ahead through a Twinkle Allanso finish from close range in the 14th minute.

Collegiate won their 3rd, 4th & 5th PC in the 17th to 18th minute; and it was time for the Kingswood defence to soak up a bit of pressure, after a series of  PC re-awards. Collegiate managed to get back in the game with some possession of their own, and won another two more PC’s in the 23rd minute. In an important moment in the game, they converted with the re-award, and closed the gap to 1 goal through their captain Aimee Weyer-Henderson. 

Hannah Knott-Craig, who had a massive game for Kingswood, showed superb skill to win Kingswood their first PC in the 27th minute. She was in the action again, during the penalty corner when her drag flick was saved by Cowie. The clearance though was dangerous and Kingswood were awarded their second PC. Knott-Craig’s flick hit the first wave defence and sat perfectly for her to have a second shot. She smashed the ball with power forcing a sublime save by the keeper, who then followed that up with a brilliant stick clearance out of the circle, and relieving the pressure off the Collegiate defence. She made an even better save a minute later after a piercing Aimee-Leigh Pote counter attack. Pote fired off a shot, at full pace off the right foot, which required a brilliant glove save (although it might have been seen as a little self-defence from the keeper). Then quite unbelievably, in the last few seconds of the half, Cowie made her best save at full stretch, after Courtney Trow thought she had the keeper beaten from the top of the circle. 

Kingswood started the second half off well, and after a series of good exchanges, Aimee Pote won her team’s fourth penalty corner. The variation was closed down quickly, but Kingswood managed to win a re-award. The next variation was perfectly executed and Collegiate were let off the hook, as Kingswood seemed to have the defence beaten. 

Collegiate soon won their own PC but again the Kingswood defence held firm, although gave away another PC in the process. Kingswood managed to deal with the threat, and cleared the ball quickly. The Collegiate keeper was back in the action when Kingswood, again, thought they did enough to score, after their 3rd PC of the half. In a desperate effort, Cowie managed to smother the ball on her goal-line.

Kingswood thought that they deserved a penalty stroke in the 41st minute, but advantage was played and Emma Fraser could only put the ball in the side netting from a very acute angle. Cowie was clearly a deserving player-of-the-match already.

On the other end of the field, the Kingswood keeper was also forced to make two telling saves of her own, as Collegiate searched for an equaliser. As the game progressed both teams started to tire and lose their structure slightly. That, combined with scoreboard pressure, meant that the game seemed a little scrappy as the match started drawing to an end. Cowie continued to do well, putting in two more solid saves, as Kingswood continued to ask questions in a frantic second half.

In the end, a passionate performance from the Kingswood girls, meant that they were deserving winners on the day. The statistics show that Collegiate should have used their penalty corners, but with regards to Circle Entries and Shots-at-Goal, Kingswood were clearly good value for their win. The scoreline read 3-2 though, which shows just how tight the game actually was.

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