With the first half of the season nearing its end, our Ladies’ 2s took on University of Bristol in a battle of the bottom of the table – with both teams looking for their first win of the season. A tightly contested first quarter saw heavy pressure from the university women and the Clifton side struggle to get the ball through the uni’s midfield. A chink of light in the 13th minute, and Clifton won a penalty corner, but it was saved by the Bristol keeper and the quarter ended 0–0.
Bristol Uni came out fighting in the second quarter and within 2 minutes had won a penalty corner that was blocked by the Clifton defence. Clifton began to regroup. Tactical play in the D forced errors in the Uni defence, and at 9 minutes Clifton was awarded a penalty flick. Zoe Leach stepped up to take it – and, to a roar from supporters, Clifton went 0–1 up. Clifton increased their pressure going into the half-time break and finished the half in the lead and with all to play for.
In the third quarter Clifton pressed hard to keep the play out of their defensive half and create chances in their own attacking circle – an intensity they carried into the start of Q4. A nerve wracking few minutes around halfway through the quarter gave Bristol Uni a couple of penalty corner chances back-to-back, but the university side failed to convert. Play swung the other end, and at 12 minutes Clifton was awarded a corner. A mighty strike from Zoe Leach on the edge of the circle, secured by Tilly Edwards at the post, put Clifton 0–2 up with only 5 minutes left to play. To cheers from players and supporters alike, the final whistle blew and Clifton had taken the win. This week the L2s take on Witney at home – can they go into the Christmas break with another? Watch this space.