Comets Marlbough 2015
Last weekend saw the second round of matches for women's division 2 with the Comets making a trip to Marlborough. With the 2001 Nags running at the same weekend the Comets were struggling for numbers but with Thea Simpson making the Saturday fixtures, new faces Lizzie Hall and Jodi Adams joining the squad, and a return of Bethan Grimes the Comets had enough players (at least for the Saturday).
The first match was against Welsh Wanders who have been a bit of a surprise this year having only lost 1 match so far (5-6 to Hucknall). The Comets started well with Roisin C opening the scoring but in a close game were unlucky to be trailing 4-3 at half time (Roisin C and Jodi A getting the Comets other goals). After the break the game didn't go quite to plan with the Welsh side scoring 5 goals without reply to make the final score 9-3 (2-1,2-2,2-0,3-0), the score line not quite reflecting the game with the two sides being a lot closer than it suggested.
The second game on the Saturday was against Sussex Marlins who were top of the league after maintaining a 100% record leading up to the match. However, the Comets were up to the challenge and put in their best performance so far this season pushing the Marlins right up to the final whistle. With Niamh C in excellent form between the posts, producing a number of quality saves, and the whole squad working tirelessly the team pulled back a 4-1 deficit in the 2nd quarter to be only 1 goal behind at 5-4 with 6 minutes of the game remaining. However, having had more of a rest between matches and also a full complement of substitutes the Marlins finally pulled away in the final minutes to make the score 8-4 (2-1,2-0,0-2,4-1). With goals for Roisin C & Anna T and Maisy C getting 2 in reward for an excellent performance the Comets gave the Marlins a real game. This was reflected in a parent of a Marlin player being overheard complaining of a lack of pool time due to them having to play their strongest team.
With Bethan G, Thea S and Lizzie H travelling back to Manchester with Theo on the Saturday it was up to Julie to travel down on the Sunday morning so that the Comets had at least 7 players to play the English Roses. This was always going to be hard with the Roses playing a more physical game but again the Comets put in an inspired performance, drawing the 2nd quarter and even getting the better of the 3rd, to only lose 12-5 (5-0,1-1,2-3,4-1). With Niamh C playing outfield and showing real promise as a centre forward (even getting a goal in the 4th) the players put in a great effort despite the obvious disadvantage of not getting a rest. With goals for Maisy C, Izzy L and Jodi A the Comets did a great job in making it a proper game although the final whistle was greeted with a sigh of relief!Despite losing both games the weekend felt like a success for the Comets. With a number of players without full match fitness and others gaining more experience the Comets showed that at full strength they are more than capable of achieving their season goal of remaining in division 2.
Report: R Clapperton
Photos: J Barber