HOCKEY: Weymouth edged out in West Wilts thriller

Dorset Echo: STAR PLAYER: Weymouth’s Caitlin Dive STAR PLAYER: Weymouth’s Caitlin Dive

WEST WILTS 4 WEYMOUTH 3

WEYMOUTH were edged out in a West Women’s Club East Division thriller in Warminster.

The Seasiders didn’t start well and the home side got on top of the game early on in the first period.

It took only 10 minutes for the home side to score with a good finish, after the defenders had stopped waiting for a whistle for a foot in the D that didn’t come.

Although the visitors felt hard done by, it gave them the wake-up call they needed and they started to play some good hock-ey.

Ten minutes into the game, Weymouth lost experienced defender Susie Stone to injury, which left them with only 11 players.

Olivia Culbreth replaced Stone and did an excellent job at right-back.

Some fine play resulted in plenty of good attacks down the right by Chloe Van Crugten and down the left by Caitlin Dive.

Weymouth were unlucky with a few shots on target and were awarded a penalty stroke after a well-worked penalty corner involving a one-two between Wendy Butcher and Emily Austin.

This resulted in Butcher beating the in-form keeper but her effort hit a defender’s foot on the goal-line.

However, the Weymouth player scored with the penalty stroke.

Striker Rachel Bustin continued with her good form and always looked dangerous, she had numerous good shots on target only to be kept out by their keeper.

A minute later, Weymouth were caught napping and a quick counter-attack led to Wilts scoring again to give the hosts a 2-1 half-time lead.

The visitors played their best hockey in the second half and were unlucky not to score. However, Wilts scored twice in quick succession against the run of play and Weymouth found themselves 4-1 down with only 20 minutes to go.

Butcher scored again after the keeper saved a shot from Austin and she was first to the rebound and finished well.

Weymouth continued to have the majority of the play in the second half and, some great work down the left, resulted in Dive making a good run into the D and shot early to score the goal of the game to make it 4-3.

With the same short corner routine as the first half, Butcher beat the keeper again for it then to hit a defender’s foot for another penalty stroke.

This time, Butcher was unlucky to narrowly miss the target as her effort hit a post.

Dive won the player of the match award, not only for her wonder goal but for her characteristic skilful play, alongside plenty of determination and hard work down the left, while in-form Van Crugten also had another good game on the right.

Weymouth: Craven, Stone, Culbreth, Ridler, Gadian, Rogers, Squibb, Van Crugten, Dive, Austin, Bustin

Player of the Match: Caitlin Dive

RESULTS

Bournemouth II 0 Salisbury II 1, Mendip 2 Frome 1, Swanage & Wareham 1 Wimborne Wayfarers 0, West Wilts 4 Weymouth 3, Yeovil & Sherborne II 3 Team Bath Buccaneers III 2.

TODAY’S FIXTURES

Frome v Swanage & Wareham, Salisbury II v West Wilts, Team Bath Buccaneers III v Bournemouth II, Weymouth v Mendip, Yeovil & Sherborne II V Wimborne Wayfarers.

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