Buckingham 6 Canterbury 2
By Zak Jones
Buckingham Hit Canterbury For Six
Buckingham enjoyed double success over the weekend, taking all three points in the league match on Saturday and winning in the cup on Sunday to go through to the semi finals. On Saturday, against bottom of the table Canterbury, Buckingham started really well. Some good early pressure by Katrina Nicholson resulted in a goal inside the first two minutes for Player of the Match Tash James. Buckingham continued to have the better of the opening exchanges but despite their dominance, the score remined 1-0 until the twenty-second minute when a defensive error gifted the visitors an opportunity, which they duly took to bring the scores level, against the run of play. Buckingham's response was almost immediate. Some fine play involving Lauren Thomas, Liz George and Tash James resulted in Maddy Newlyn firing home from close range. Despite creating other chances to extend the lead further, it was not until two minutes before half time the home side made the next breakthrough. Another good passing move involving the outstanding Kitty Higgins, Phoebe Richards and Eloise Laity resulted in Liz George smashing the ball into the roof of the net for a 3-1 lead.
Buckingham began the second half where they had left off in the first, nearly scoring again in the opening thirty seconds. They duly extended their lead further inside forty minutes when a well worked penalty corner routine crashed off the bar and Eloise Laity was there to steed the rebound home from close range. Tash James nearly made it five just a minute later when she struck the outside of the post but the ball stayed out. As Canterbury desperately pushed forward to get something out of the fixture, the game really opened up. The visitors nearly reduced the deficit from their first penalty corner whilst Buckingham were denied at the other end and both teams had chances cleared off the line and it was the visitors who pulled a goal back after fifty seven minutes following a cheap turnover in midfield. Once again Buckingham's response was immediate. Another flowing move down right hand side involving Liz George, Kitty Higgins and Eloise Laity resulted in an exquisite finish from Tash James to make it 5-2. A snap-shot on the turn from Liz George brought another fine save from the visiting goalkeeper with five to go but Buckingham would not be denied a sixth/ Phoebe Richards completing the scoring in the closing stags, calmly rounding the goalkeeper to give Buckingham a 6-2 win: their biggest ever winning margin in the premier league.
"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."