Despite a battling performance, Matlock Baileans suffered a 4-0 defeat in their opening match of the new season in the Premier Division of the Midlands Women’s Hockey League.
Matlock went into the game against Boots Ladies full of confidence, but were soon knocked back by a fast and hard start by the home side, who took the lead with an early penalty corner.
Matlock hit back with some fast switches around the back from Laura Donaldson and Lisa Beecham, and they battled hard in midfield thanks to quick passes and triangles by Laura Boddy, Jody Carson and Gemma Phipps. However, Boots frequently invaded the D with some skilful play and despite relentless tackles from Joey Blackburn, they increased their lead to 3-0 by half-time.
After stern, yet encouraging, words from coach Jeffrey Longdon, Matlock remained focused and determined for the second operiod, penetrating the D with some fine runs and skills from Iris Kleckova and Sarah Wain. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the goal and when Leyanne Beecham smashed the ball towards goal, it was intercepted to spark a speedy Boots break that led to their fourth strike.
At least Matlock never let their heads drop, most notably Gina Camfield, who made a cracking return to hockey with countless superb saves that earned her the player-of-the-match award.
Meanwhile, a solitary goal by Tess Mitchell 15 minutes from time earned Matlock Baileans 2nd a 1-0 victory over Staveley in Division One of the Derbyshire Women’s league. Mitchell slotted home to settle a match that was spoiled by multiple stops for injuries. Goalkeeper Amanda Jacques made some fine saves, while midfielders Beth Hardwood and Immy Neiper ran their socks off to keep Staveley at bay.
Also in Division One, another tight match resulted in an unlucky 1-0 defeat for Matlock Baileans 3rd against Belper 3rd. The goal came midway through the second half, but Matlock played well and inspired by a player-of-the-match performance from Mary Repton, they piled on the pressure in response.