The third round of the Women’s South Eastern Conference Cup saw the Ladies Hockey First XI drawn at home against Essex University Ladies First XI.
Portsmouth came into the game sitting second in the South Eastern Conference Women’s 2A league with two games in hand, whilst Essex were joint 3rd in the South East Conference 2B.
Portsmouth have only lost one game all season and Essex only two, so it was a tough draw that saw two teams from south eastern leagues ready to battle it out on the hockey field. Portsmouth were the natural favourites, although this was knockout tournament play, so anything could happen.
Injuries and exams meant many people were playing out of position but the Pompey girls managed to settle into the game quickly and took advantage of their early domination with a well worked goal. A second quickly followed, however Essex were far from giving up and fought back hard to get one back late into the first half. However, an excellent team goal right on half time seemed to finish the Essex side off.
The second half saw Essex trying to attack quickly on the break but the defensive unit stayed solid and snuffed out all danger, allowing the Portsmouth team to score twice more to put the game far beyond a muted Essex side.
Goals came from Sophie Neal, Tori Clark, Ashley Thakore and Ellie Firth, who scored a highly-contested second goal after she popped up to tap in an already scoring shot from Katie Pugh. The final score was 5-1 with everyone playing very well. Let’s hope the team can build on this performance, if they can they stand a good chance of going all the way to the final.