Strikers women’s hockey team had a tight tussle against Tigers KFC on Friday (May 12) night eventually going down by three goals to two.
Strikers could boast a full complement this week with spares, which has been a problem in the previous week’s games.
Both teams were evenly matched with the attack from both sides proving they were capable of scoring opportunities.
The defence of Strikers’ players in Anna Black, Sally Hunt and keeper Gloria Smith, again made it very difficult for the young Tigers forwards to score and it was after several shots on goal that one eventually found the net.
This seemed to lift the Strikers’ attack and some determined play by Marlene Masters, Ashley Thompson, Sami O’Byrne and Lynne Brettle combining well saw Sarah Linhart score a great goal.
Both teams continued to apply pressure and Tigers were able to go to the break with a lead of 2-1.
Strong play by Michelle Linhart, Michelle Merrick and Tracy Thompson in the halves maintained possession and continually broke down play supplying plenty of ball to the forwards.
Strikers drew level when Ashley picked up the loose ball from a penalty corner to place it past the keeper to again draw level.
With scores even it was anyone’s game but despite plenty of attack Strikers were unable to capitalise on their scoring opportunities with many shots just missing the net.
Tigers were able to add their third goal just before full time and thus snatch the winning points.
Team points went to : Sarah 3, Anna and Ashley 2, Shelly Merrick 1.
In previous games played Strikers have not fared too well particularly as they have played short on three occasions.
Against Cougars in a tough encounter they lost 4-1 with Sarah scoring the goal.
The new look Taree West proved too strong in very hot conditions and despite a valiant effort by nine players who gave it their all went down 4-0.
The game against Sharks saw a more even contest with both teams displaying good hockey.
Unfortunately the end result of a loss 3-1 was not a true indication of the game.
This division now consists of nine teams and is proving to be very challenging this year.
Strikers have the bye next week and play Wingham at 6:30 on Friday, May 26.
With several key players unavailable it was up to the remainder to fill in the various positions and make Tigers work for their win.
The defence held strongly with Sally Hunt, Jane McNeill and Lynn Brettle breaking down the Tigers attack and thank heavens for goalie Gloria Smith who had a mighty game.
It was unfortunate that an injury to Jane in the first 10 minutes saw Tigers capitalise to open up their scoring the first of seven.
Captain Tracy Thompson led by example with Michelle Linhart also giving everything in both attack and defence.
The attack consisted of Kelly O’Byrne and youngster Ashley Thompson, who provided some problems for the Tigers defence on many occasions.
The second half began to take its toll on the injuries and with 20 minutes to go Strikers were down to seven players, and seven minutes before full time Kelly also had to leave the field so at this stage the umpires called the game to a halt.
All players deserve three points for their courageous effort and the spirit and determination they displayed throughout the game.