Reading beat Canterbury to make Investec Final

Lucy Hyams Kate Walsh, Canterbury v Reading 450

Kate Walsh scored twice as Reading won through to the final of the Investec Women’s Hockey League with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Canterbury.

Susie Gilbert opened the scoring early on as her shot found the roof of the net in the 17th minute.

Kate Walsh opened her account soon after, hitting a superb drag flick shot over the keeper from a penalty corner.

And it was Walsh who put Reading within touching distance of a final showdown with Leicester as she thumped home from a penalty corner yet again.

She played a neat one-two before collecting the ball in and lashing home a precise strike.

Canterbury were still fighting and on 46 minutes, they finally got off the mark as a corner resulted in a Mel Clewlow shot ricocheting off a Reading stick on its way to the net.

But Reading soon restored the three-goal lead as some excellent build up play cut the Canterbury defence wide open and Ellie Cockburn applied the finish to make it 4-1.

Desperate to get back on the goal trail, Canterbury introduced a kicking back and Alex Danson ruthlessly exploited the gap at the back, knocking the ball into an open net to make it 5-1 and end the game as a contest.

Emma Thomas, Reading captain, said: “it’s fantastic to get the result today and even better to seal the place in Europe for next season. It was hard work but I think all three sides had a tough day.

“We’re looking forward to playing Leicester in the final tomorrow. The crowd has been fantastic today and it’s great to have the home support again.”