Manchester Women Grantham
Matches against Coventry and Caledonia
Having already secured a slot in the Super 5s the womens team headed to Grantham for the next round of matches determined to maintain their unbeaten record.The first game was against Coventry and with both sides being fairly matched, combined with both goal keepers being in fine form, meant goals were hard to come by. It took until the final second of the first quarter until the deadlock was broken by E Bartlett to give Manchester a 1-0 lead. The next two quarters followed a similar pattern and with Coventry still unable to find the back of the net meant Manchester were leading 3-0 going into the final period thanks to goals from E Chadderton. At the start of the 4th Coventry finally stated to score and going into the final minute Manchester had a slender 4-3 advantage. In a tense final 15 seconds V Hawkins and a Coventry player were simultaneously wrapped and with both sides down to 5 outfield players this extra space allowed F Clayton to equalize for Coventry with only 2 seconds remaining. However, the game ended in controversy as the wrapped Coventry player got back in the pool after the goal but was allowed to get back out without a penalty being awarded to Manchester. The final seconds were then allowed to play out making the final score 4-4 (1-0,0-0,2-0,1-4).
The second match on the Sunday was against Caledonia. With E Chadderton & E Bartlett unavailable due to work commitments Manchester were forced to play J Smith as an outfield player instead of her normal position in goal. The Scottish side pushed Manchester hard and it wasn't until half time that Manchester had established a 2 goal advantage. After the break Manchester started pulling away and, with A Clapperton scoring a hat trick, went into the final moments 6-3 ahead. This ended up the final score after M Gaunt made a great penalty save with 4 seconds left after it was alleged that a Manchester player had come back into play too soon after a major. (2-1,2-1,1-0,1-1)Next round is at Matlock on the 14th & 15th November with matches against Penguin Emperors (still without a win) and a top of the table clash against local rivals Liverpool who have yet to drop any points so far after two more convincing wins this weekend.
Match Report and Photos thanks to