Newmarket 15 Saffron Walden 1

Cambridgeshire Ladies LeagueDivision OneNewmarket 15 Saffron Walden 1Newmarket's penultimate league game produced a flurry of goals which ensured the team would clinch the title of Cambridgeshire Division One champions, writes Diana Thomas.

Cambridgeshire Ladies League

Division One

Newmarket 15 Saffron Walden 1

Newmarket's penultimate league game produced a flurry of goals which ensured the team would clinch the title of Cambridgeshire Division One champions, writes Diana Thomas.


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Town felt the pressure before the game, knowing they must win to edge Cambridge South at the top of the league by a point. It was due to the encouragement of their loyal supporters and team work that Newmarket were able to play fearlessly.

Di Thomas opened the scoring after three and five minutes by using her trademark reverse stick shots. This opened the floodgates for Town and 13 more goals were knocked past the keeper.

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A trio of hat tricks were produced by Beth Wombwell, Sarah Haird and Tracy Cockerill. The pick of the bunch was a powerful reverse stick flick from Wombwell. Haird made some outstanding touches and scored two out of her three from skilful deflections of short corners, while Cockerill, perfectly placed as usual on the left wing, swept her three home after out foxing the keeper.

Claire McDonnell worked incredibly hard, defending and attacking, and used her strength and skill to score four satisfying goals. On one occasion where Saffron Walden failed to react to advantage play McDonnell stole the ball and slammed it straight past the keeper. Her performance won her player of the match.

There were moments where Saffron Walden troubled Town's defence and they managed to sneak a goal from an initial long corner play. Gail McDonnell showed lightning reactions as she batted away a high shot on goal, while Sue Bullimore also kept the home side at bay by diving to save a penalty flick after 18 minutes into the second half.

Isabel Hooley was always one step ahead of her marker and played some very calculated passes out to her team mates. Strong tackling and passing was demonstrated by Lydia Fison as the opposition were frustrated at not being able to escape her easily.

Zoe Bailey, in her first season playing for Newmarket, has constantly performed and Saffron Walden had a tough task to deal with her speed and agility on the right wing. Louise Downs, also completing her first season for Town, has performed solidly throughout and leaves other teams baffled by her skill.

Newmarket finish top of the table with 69 goals to their name, more than any other team in the Cambridgeshire Ladies Leagues. They have the cup final to play as well to try and complete the double. Sam Smith, their inspirational captain, commented: “I am so proud of my team for their commitment and effort and thank everyone in the club for playing their part in getting Newmarket Ladies to the Premier League next season.”

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