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Investec Women's O35s Shield Finals

Bretforton Ladies 1-5 Folkestone Optimists

Last Updated: May 3, 2016 06:42pm
Evesham, Wychavon
By Alice Cooke
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Having beaten some of the best teams in the country, Bretforton’s over 35s team found themselves travelling down to Lee Valley to face Folkestone Optimists in the Investec O35s Shield final at the Olympic Park. 

Complete with a travelling fan club of around 100 supporters, Bretforton were looking to put the small Cotswold village on the map; and the noise levels of the supporters was set to make sure no one would forget Bretforton Ladies hockey team. 

Decked out in brand new Pink Ladies kit, Bretforton faced the Folkstone Optimists in blue. After an intense start from both teams, it was the Optimists who managed to calm their nerves first and took advantage of a gap in the Bretforton formation to drive at the defence and get themselves ahead early on. 

Folkestone increased their lead shortly afterwards when Folkestone drove hard at the Bretforton defence and smashed in their second of the game. Bretforton seemed to find their feet once again and great linking play from Lisa Workman in midfield and Sarah Hall in attack gave Bret the chance to put Folkestone under pressure. 

Bretforton were awarded a succession of short corners after some fabulous running up the wing from Green forced errors from the Folkestone defence. With their shots firing just wide of the goal, Bretforton were unfortunately unable to make the most of their chances. 

Solid defending from Lewinton and Wheeler kept the Optimists from increasing their lead until just before the half time whistle, when a series of short sharp passes allowed Folkestone to work their way around the pitch and slot home their third goal of the game. 

A renewed hunger and increasing support from the fans in pink, gave Bretforton the push they needed to come back after the break and show everyone that they were up for the fight. After a foot on the line, Bretforton were awarded a penalty flick – Sophie Hamilton stepped up to the plate and calmly fired the ball past the Folkestone keeper to put the Pink Ladies on the scoresheet. 

Vicky Watkins in goal had a busy match but undoubtedly one of her best as she was forced to make some stunning saves throughout the match to keep Folkestone from increasing their lead. 

Deb Slatter and Dani Cox were unlucky not to find themselves with more chances on goal as their determination and commitment gave Bretforton the chance to gain ground, but unfortunately Bretforton could not add to their goal tally. 

Folkestone kept the pressure on and were rewarded with their fourth goal and their strikers’ second, to make the score 4-1. Shortly before the end of the match the Optimists secured their win with a fifth goal to make them O35 Invested Shield winners. 

Bretforton Ladies O35s came home Silver Medallists and, it is safe to say, everyone had a “LOVELY TIME”. The club would like to thank everyone for their support on their journey to the finals.

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