Buckingham 3 Beeston 2
By Zak Jones
Buckingham Through To Semi-Finals
At Stowe School on Sunday Buckingham took on Beeston in the quarter-final of the England Hockey Cup. Buckingham started brightly, dominating possession and putting the Beeston side under a lot of pressure. The home side opened the scoring after Eloise Laity stole the ball from a Beeston defender and drove strongly into the attacking circle. Her early shot hit the Beeston keeper and Phoebe Richards was able to pounce on the rebound to put Buckingham one up. Despite more pressure Buckingham had to wait until the second half to double their lead. After good work from the forwards forcing a good save from the visiting keeper, Rebecca Van Arrowsmith was on hand to fire the ball home into an empty net from a tight angle. Beeston then upped their game for a period and forced two penalty corners, converting one from sharp rebounding after Buckingham keeper Steph Tyrell had made a good initial save. Their second came after a penalty stroke was awarded after the ball hit Megan Lewis-Williams on the body on the line. With the prospect of a penalty stoke competition if the scores remained even at full-time Buckingham with Player of the Match Kitty Higgins to the fore, reacted well, upping their tempo again and creating several chances. Once again, it was in-form forward Tash James who ultimately converted the chance to put Buckingham back into the lead. The side then withstood some late pressure from the visitors who substituted their keeper for an extra outfield player to push to get back on level terms. Buckingham now face a semi-final re-match against Clifton Robinsons, who they went out of the competition to at the same stage last year on penalty strokes. The match will be played on Sunday 31 March at Stowe School.
"It was another really positive weekend. On Saturday, although the game became very loose at one point, overall it was a pleasing performance, we played some really good attacking hockey, created lots of chances and scored some fantastic goals, which should give us confidence moving forward and also keeps us firmly in contention for a top four finish. Sunday's cup quarter final was another good performance. Once again, we showed fantastic character, resilience and composure to come through another tight game to reach the semi-final. Hopefully, Sundays experience will stand us in good stead for the final four games of the season, which will all be crucial, tight and hard fought affairs, against sides that are either battling for a top four finish or to avoid relegation. That challenge starts this weekend when we make the trip to Nottingham to play Beeston, in what we know will be a really hard fought game, having lost 2-1 to them at home earlier in the season."