Valiant effort ends in big defeat

Panthers 7, Beccles 0

HOCKEY: This M&A Partners Premier Division Norfolk Women’s League fixture was a rearranged match from two weeks ago when Beccles would have fielded 12 players.

They only just managed a full team for this game at the last minute, when the manager said she was able to play after a long absence. Beccles were without two of their key players but Aimee Tilley ably stepped into the left defender role with Jen Callender playing at left midfield.

Panthers started strongly and within minutes had a two goal lead through Gail Rudd and Becky Hart. Seven minutes later Rudd scored again, making the score 3-0.

Then Beccles had a good spell and settled more into the game. Heather Brand, Annette Freeman and Debbie Mann all worked tirelessly as they pressed forward. Beccles did create scoring opportunities, with Annette Freeman’s shot forcing the keeper to make a crucial save. Just before half-time Rudd completed her hat-trick to put the home team 4-0 up.

It was half way into the second half before Panthers scored again through Hart, her second of the game and then a few minutes later Zoe Gott got on the score sheet. Lorraine Greenwood in goal threw herself into the game, and her excellent performance, along with Max Gibbs, Clare Gammon, Aimee Tilley and Heather Brand, all contributed to the game.

Panthers were quick to close the visitors down to prevent them from advancing forward, but the Beccles players also at times put pressure on the opposition. Just three minutes from full-time Gott scored the final goal of the game.

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This was a valiant effort by the Beccles players, but one that was always going to be an uphill task against a team second from top and having only lost one game so far this season.

Tomorrow Beccles have another rearranged fixture at home to Watton (10.30am start).