Sale Ladies 1st 1 Wilmslow Ladies 1st 7
The bottom side played host to the top side as Wilmslow 1s travelled to Sale on a bitterly cold and breezy day in the North West.
Wilmslow started the brighter side; maintaining possession and working the ball nicely in the attacking third to create several opportunities. It was period of play such as this where a penalty corner was won. A nicely worked routine saw captain Charlotte Kelman slot the ball home neatly into the bottom corner to open the scoring within the first five minutes; 1-0 to the visitors.
Excellent play by Wilmslow resulted in the awarding of some penalty corners in quick succession. Slick routines by the Tangerines were converted successfully, the first by leading goal scorer Lindsay Rachubka and the second by the ever lively Carla Botha. These two goals in two minutes saw the girls leading by three goals within the first half hour.
A defensive error by Wilmslow's back line then led to a turnover on the edge of the attacking circle and after the Sale forward rounded keeper Lang, a Wilmslow body was the only thing preventing the ball from crossing the line. The penalty stroke was dispatched accurately and Sale were briefly back in the game, 3-1 going into the break.
The half-time break revitalised the girls and they began to dominate the game higher up the pitch. Excellent interplay between Wilmslow's rampant midfield presented Emilie Kelman with an opportunity to add to the scoreline. Her diving finish was followed a minute later by an excellent reverse strike by youngster Honey Dickenson. This effectively killed off the tie with the girls leading 5-1 going into the last 15 minutes.
Wilmslow's defence were robust and kept Sale's counter to a minimum. This gave the attacking players more time on the ball to stretch Sale's press and expose their back line. As a result, Botha was able to weave her magic through their defence and round the keeper twice in two minutes to complete her hat trick. These four goals in ten minutes saw the score finish 7-1 to Wilmslow, with the girls remaining top of the table and three points clear of their nearest challengers, who they face in two weeks time.
Wilmslow Ladies 2nd added to Sale's misery by beating their second string 3-0. The 3rds were rewarded for their long trek to play Oswestry 1st with a 1-0 win.
The 4ths beat Brooklands 4s 3-1 and the 5th completed a successful afternoon for the Ladies section by beating Oxton 4s 1-0
Doncaster Mens 2nd 2 Wilmslow Mens 1st 1
Wilmslow men's 1s made the trip to Doncaster hoping for a repeat of their home victory over the Yorkshiremen earlier in the season.
Wilmslow started brightly and began to impose their passing game on Doncaster, who's main threat appeared to be on the break. Wilmslow created good chances and Andy Hunt, Joe Booth and Ben Jones all tested the Doncaster goalkeeper who had a busy first half.
Doncaster took the lead against the run of play with a goal on the break. Simon Pickering did well to keep our and initial shot but could do nothing to stop a rebound. Wilmslow went close to equalising when a short corner was cleared off the Doncaster line.
Wilmslow equalised one minute before half time after a slick passing move which involved almost every player and resulted in captain Ben James finding Hunt unmarked at the back post to deflect the ball high into the goal.
The second half started in a similar pattern to the first, but Doncaster grew into the game and started to apply pressure to the Wilmslow goal. Wilmslow's defence did well to absorb this pressure and a series of short corners were well defended by Wilmslow but eventually the ball crept into the bottom corner from a corner to give Doncaster the lead.
Jones had the chance to level the game late on but was clipped as he rounded the Doncaster keeper and was off balance when he shot just wide.
Wilmslow will be disappointed to lose a game they dominated for long periods and to continue their poor record against Yorkshire sides.
Wilmslow Mens 2nd played table toppers Timperley 2nd and in a closely fought battle managed a 0-0 draw thanks to a penalty flick save by keeper Dean Valentine near the end of the game.
Wilmslow 3rd beat Timperley 4 to go top of the league. The 4th beat Bowdon 7th 5-0 and the 5ths moved up to second place with a 4-1 defeat of Urmston 3rd.
Match report by Steve Kinsella.