East Grinstead Men and Women both crowned Super 6s Champions
- Both sides defeat Canterbury in their respective finals.
- Eighth consecutive title for East Grinstead Men
Women’s Super 6s Semi-Finals:
Canterbury 4 (4)
Anna Kolarova 3 (PC)
Anna Baker 10 (FG)
Dirkie Chamberlain 14 (FG)
Susie Rowe 20 (FG)
University Of Birmingham 2 (1)
Vanessa Hawkins 10 (FG)
Alice Wills 27 (FG)
Canterbury marched on to the women’s final with a strong display to see off University of Birmingham in the first semi-final. Goals from Anna Kolarova, Anna Baker, Dirkie Chamberlain and Susie Rowe did the damage and despite a strong showing from Birmingham in the second half the Kent side took the win.
It was the Polo Farm outfit who settled the quicker of the two sides but they came up against some superb goalkeeping from Jen Mashford and some fantastic defending from Tina Evans, which frustrated them early on. They made a breakthrough via a penalty corner from Kolarova and although Birmingham levelled via a Vanessa Hawkins strike Canterbury took the lead again seconds later through Anna Baker. Further first half goals from Chamberlain and Rowe gave Birmingham a mountain to climb and despite Alice Wills’ second half goal it was too much and the Kent side took the win.
East Grinstead 1 (0)
Malou Pheninckx 24 (FG)
Bowdon Hightown 0 (0)
A 24th minute strike from East Grinstead’s Malou Pheninckx was enough to give the Sussex side revenge for last year’s final defeat and more importantly, a place in the final against Canterbury. In a tight affair, the 24-year-old kept her cool in the circle to slot in what turned out to be the decisive goal in the first half.
Both goalkeepers excelled in this game, with Amy Tennant looking in fine form for Bowdon Hightown whilst former England stopper Becky Waters rolled back the years with a string of fine stops, including an outrageous double save. It could have been more comfortable for the Sussex team as they were awarded a penalty stroke. Joanna Davis stepped up but her effort flew wide of the target. Bowdon continued to threaten as they searched for an equaliser but Waters and her defence stood firm to pick up a narrow win for the Sussex side and set up a clash with Canterbury in the final.
Women’s Super 6s Final:
Canterbury 1 (0)
Sarah Kerly 31 (FG)
East Grinstead 3 (1)
Malou Pheninckx 10, 40 (FG, FG)
Takara Haines 35 (PC)
A brace from Malou Pheninckx handed East Grinstead women the Super 6s title in a dramatic final against Canterbury. The Dutch star struck in the first half and then in the final minute to help her side to a 3-1 win in a keenly contested clash with Canterbury.
Takara Haines added a penalty corner in the 35th minute and although Canterbury had parity thanks to Sarah Kerly’s goal it wasn’t enough.
The Kent side had the first clear chance of the match from a penalty corner. Grace Balsdon took the shot but Becky Waters, the former Canterbury goalkeeper was out like lightning to make the save. It was déjà vu moments later as the East Grinstead stopper somehow diverted Balsdon’s shot over the bar with her face mask.
With ten minutes on the clock the Sussex side got their noses in front. A lovely run from left to right from Pheninckx opened up the space and the 24-year-old supplied a nice finish to break the deadlock. Grinstead almost went further ahead but Mel Clewlow kept her cool to clear off the line from Emma-Lee Smith whilst at the other end Waters denied Kerly with an excellent stop. Canterbury continued to knock at the door and Waters was at her imperious best once again to smother a chance for Lizzie Neal as the score remained 1-0 to East Grinstead at the interval.
Canterbury forced a penalty corner at the start of the second period and with Emma Lee Smith sent to half way for breaking early, they moved the ball wide. Balsdon fired it across for Dirkie Chamberlain whose deflection hit the woodwork. The frame of the goal came to Canterbury’s rescue moments later at the other end. Davis’ shot hit the upright with Helen Fagg making a superb save to keep out the rebound from Pheninckx.
Time was ticking away but with nine minutes to play Canterbury got their equaliser. The ball struck a foot in the circle but the umpire played a superb advantage allowing Kerly to snap up the loose ball to tie it up at 1-1. East Grinstead rallied and re-took the lead from an excellent penalty corner by Haines with five minutes to play. Canterbury withdrew their goalkeeper as a last throw of the dice. There was a moment of high drama almost immediately as the Kent side won a penalty corner. Once again the jet-heeled Waters arrived at the edge of the circle to block this time from Anna Kolarova. With Canterbury throwing everyone forwards, East Grinstead made it safe with under a minute left as Pheninckx grabbed her second to clinch the title.
Report courtesy of England Hockey