Delight for Reading and University of Birmingham in 2nd XI Final

UOB celebrate scoring in the 2nd Xi Cup

University of Birmingham 2 (1)
Naomi Bennett 20 (PC)
Sade Gerald 69 (FG)

Clifton 0 (0)

University of Birmingham clinched the Women’s 2nd XI Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Clifton in a pulsating encounter. Both sides threw everything they had at each other with Clifton being kept out on more than one occasion by Birmingham goalkeeper Katherine Somerville. In the end goals from Naomi Bennett and Sade Gerald were enough to capture the trophy for Phi Gooderham’s team.

The first half took a while to get going. Rebecca Law tested out Clifton goalkeeper Emily Munsey who was equal to the task, whilst at the other end Somerville was on hand to repel an early Clifton penalty corner. 20 minutes were on the clock when the deadlock was broken. Bennett reacted quickest at a penalty corner to slot in a rebound for the lead.

Clifton came out after the break with renewed intensity. Emily France went close with a penalty corner and then Vonnie Bentley’s shot was well saved by Somerville. At the other end UOB were unlucky not to go 2-0 up when Katie Mason’s blockbuster hit the woodwork. Somerville excelled once again with a stunning glove save to deny Zoe Cullum but Clifton were getting closer. At the other end Munsey made a splendid double save from Bennett as both sides put everything into finding the next goal. With a minute left, the lead was doubled. Munsey made another good save but Gerald slammed in the rebound to send the Birmingham fans wild.

Katie Mason captain of University of Birmingham
'We have worked so hard all season, we won the league by 13 points so we really wanted to come out today and win this. She is amazing (Katherine Sommerville), when we know she is behind us it fills the rest of us with confidence and she was an absolute hero today. Our defence worked hard, we just battled today and they could have scored at any time. We were prepared, we were surprised they didn’t score a goal which they rightly deserved but we held our ground and got the win. It is amazing for the club; we have just made a bit of history for the club as the first 2nd team to make the final.'

Women’s 2nd XI Plate Final: Double delight for Reading women.

Reading (3) 6
Emma Thomas FG 13’
Alys Richards PC 21’
Rachel Muncey FG 25’
Rachel Muncey PC 39’
Fen Holland FG 45’
Fen Holland FG 61’

Chelmsford (0) 0

Reading women, inspired by their U18s' triumph earlier in the day went on to win 6-0 against Chelmsford to be crowned the Women’s 2nd XI Plate Winners.

A looping ball into the circle saw Emma Thomas collect the rebound to give the 'Ding the lead. Reading's attack worked the Chelmsford keeper Jenai Chenoi but she kept them at bay for a while after the opener. On the 21st minute however there was nothing she could do to stop captain Alys Richards firing home Reading's second. They soon added to their lead as Rachel Muncey got on the score sheet.

Reading started the second half strongly and after a missed chance from Hannah Knott it wasn’t long until Muncey got her second; neatly flicking the ball over the keeper to make it 4-0. A fifth goal soon followed through a well-executed penalty corner, Fen Holland being the player with the final touch on the ball. Chelmsford were close to getting on the score sheet but Reading were a well oiled team and scored their sixth; another from Holland.

Womens 2nd XI plate - Reading vs Chelmsford-10

Alys Richards captain of Reading HC

'We were so nervous coming into today, they are a top quality team with top quality players so we were really nervous about it. We saw our U18s play earlier and they put in a solid performance so we thought let's go out and see what happens. It was absolutely wonderful to play here, as a second team it was just great to have this chance and have the wonderful coverage and experience from the weekend.'