Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Women’s Final: Bowdon Hightown 2-9 Reading.

A fantastic display from Reading ensured the Sonning Lane side got their hands on the trophy they won last year as they blitzed Bowdon Hightown with some clinical finishing. Double strikes from Becky Halle, Emma Thomas and Susie Gilbert did most of the damage as Hightown had to settle for second place. Reading struck in the very first minute. Helen Richardson-Walsh drove through the heart of the defence and finished well to make it 1-0. Amy Tennant then did well to keep out Ellie Cockburn as Bowdon took some time to settle into the game. At the other end Sarah Ellis was called upon to smother a penalty corner form Michelle Liptrot. With ten minutes gone Emily Maguire made it 2-0 with a cool finish after the ball broke to her in the D following a good run by Alex Danson.

Ellis continued to frustrate Hightown with a string of fine saves First she saved from Sally Walton and then she blocked superbly from Tina Cullen. With Bowdon looking the more likely to score, Reading hit them with a sucker punch in the 16th minute .Danson turned and broke into the D on the right before picking out Halle at the back post for a simple finish. Reading made it 4-0 on the stroke of half time with a penalty corner from Emma Thomas leaving Hightown with it all to do in the second half.

Two minutes into the second half, Halle grabbed her second of the match. Tennant in the Bowdon goal made two wonderful saves to keep out Reading but she could not stop Halle firing home at the third attempt to make it 5-0. Thomas scored her second from a penalty corner in the 24th minute making it 6-0. Tennant did well to keep out Danson but another Reading goal wasn’t far off. Gilbert robbed Liptrot and rounded the goalkeeper to finish well and make it seven. Bowdon restored some pride with a lovely goal of their own. Walton fed Cullen who produced a superb spin to beat Ellis but the game was over as a contest. With two minutes left Danson burst forward again and fed Gilbert who slipped it home for her second of the match. Tennant was once again unlucky as she made a fine save from Halle only to see the rebound tucked away by Helen Richardson-Walsh to make it 9-1. Sally Walton beat Ellis with time running out on the clock but it was too little too late.

It was tough on Bowdon who were denied at key times by an inspired performance by Ellis in the Reading goal. In the end though, Reading ran out deserved winners, retaining the trophy they won last year.

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