Match report by Sophie McConn
At 2pm on the 1st of March, the VCB 2nd XI Hockey team played the semi-final of the Mc Dowell Cup against Friends School Lisburn at Harlequins. The match started off at a fast pace with the Victoria girls keen to score a goal in the opening minutes.
Excellent team work between the midfield and forwards helped us to bag ourselves a corner in the first few minutes. A great shot on goal pushed out by Emma Connolly and received by Sarah Webb and despite great play from Ara McCartan and Gina Gilmartin was unfortunately saved by the FSL goalie.
For the rest of the first half the match remained at a fast and consistent pace as Friends upped their game. Gina Gilmartin, Sophie McConn, Anna Wylie & Lauren Russell held a tight defensive line and cleared any attacking balls that came near them.
With the help of endless running and passing between Harriet Bedi, Georgia Ross, Tash Patterson and Emma Connolly we were able to keep the ball out our half and consistently towards the Friends half and goal. By half time the game was well matched and the score remained 0 – 0.
After a vigorous first half the girls were tired going into the second half but we held our heads high and although the game was open to anyone, we played to win. Friends had some excellent shots at goal but thanks to superb goal keeping from Lauren Henderson they failed to score. After 15 minutes of fairly equal possession and control, Vic girls began to feel a sense of urgency with a disallowed goal from Sarah Webb, the girls knew they could score and picked up their pace. With constant effort from Phoebe Hagan up front the forwards and midfields managed to penetrate the Friends defence with skilful play from Sarah Hanley, Georgia Ross, Cara Montgomery and the rest of the team.
A whopping sweep from Sophie McConn in defence drove the ball up the pitch and was received by Emma Connolly in the circle which she then slotted straight between the goalie’s feet and into the goal.
Threatened by our goal, Friends play became fast moving and determined. The VCB side created a tight defensive wall preventing any Friends players from penetrating our defence, protecting our goal for the last 5 minutes of the match. As the weather deteriorated Lauren Russell, Rebecca Bun Gina Gilmartin in and Anna Wylie stood their ground to ensure a 1 – 0 victory at the full time whistle.