Contenders dreaming of a Wembley fairytale
Jack Miller analyses the four clubs on the search for women’s indoor glory this weekend
CANTERBURY ON THE hunt for a first indoor title after missing out in last year’s decider, Canterbury know how it feels to taste defeat at the final hurdle and will be determined not to miss out this year.
With captain Sarah Kerly guiding her troops and contributing the bulk of her side’s goals, she will be vital to the Kent side’s chances of lifting the trophy at Wembley.
With a relatively young side though, Canterbury have time on their side and could mount further charges at the indoor crown in coming years. SLOUGH TOP of the pile during the round robin phase, Slough actually only won the same number of games as the other qualifiers – five.
So close was the competition, only their final win over bottomside Buckingham sealed their place at Wembley.
But with one loss in eight round robin matches, Slough are clearly hard to beat and by spreading their strikes around they won’t rely on one goalscorer in their hunt to claim a 14th indoor title.
Their 23 goals conceded was the equal-best of the nine clubs during the round robin fixtures. BOWDON HIGHTOWN ANOTHER team with a proud tradition of indoor hockey, Bowdon Hightown have amassed 11 indoor trophies in the competition’s history – with three of those coming in the last nine years.
East Grinstead took their crown last year so they will be determined to get it back and, with the experience of Tina Cullen, Sally Walton, Amanda Ferebee, Lisa Garbutt and Michelle Liptrot in their veteran-filled side, there are few better equipped to cope with the Wembley pressure-cooker.
They found the net 39 times during their eight matches, giving them the best attacking record. SUTTON COLDFIELD IT’S been 30 years since Sutton Coldfield took their one and only indoor trophy back to the West Midlands.
It’s also been four years since they last made it to the Wembley stage, but with a nail-biting win over Bowdon Hightown securing their place in the last four, they showed they’ve got the heart for a fight.
Their relative lack of goals may be a concern though, as they finished the round robin phase as the only team in the top seven without a positive goal difference.
Wembley, Wembley: Clockwise from top left, Canterbury, Slough, Bowdon Hightown and Sutton Coldfield