Bury were a strong, youthful team, and they started the game brightly, dominating the early possession. Dragons had Gina Hunt in goal once again and she was in outstanding form from the off, making some commanding early saves. The defensive unit of Karen O’Neill Simpson, Harriett Green, Carmel Windsor Waite and Shelly Seaman knew they were going to need to be at their sharpest to keep Bury at bay.
With Emma Tabrett returning to the squad, having been unavailable for a few weeks, adding her usual fire and energy to the forward line, supported by the pace of Laura Ward and the skills of Kate McKenna. The game started to level out, with Dragons getting in behind the Bury defence on a couple of occasions. In midfield, Gail Thomas, Sophie Mullan, Lucy Morton and Kiera Goymour were starting to win the 50/50 battles and were feeding the forwards with some excellent through balls. With one such attack, Gail Thomas found Emma Tabrett, whose powerful drive and square pass found the willing run of Lucy Morton on the back post, for the lead. Before halftime this was doubled, this time Morton squared to Tabrett who found the backboard.
Bury had a number of opportunities to get back into the game before half time – there was some excellent defensive work by Dragons though and the score remained 2-0 at the break.
The second half saw Bury change their formation a little but the game still remained pretty even – both teams playing at high pace and having decent opportunities. It was Dragons however who took their chances, Tabrett claiming her second to make it 3-0, whilst the fourth came from Kiera Goymour, her first for the Club, which was well deserved. Whilst 4-0 sounds a convincing scoreline, this was only achieved with some outstanding defensive work and some top saves from Dragons Player of the Match Gina Hunt – one instinctive save high to her right which was gloved away nonchalantly.
The final whistle was blown by two of the most impressive umpires we have seen this season and Dragons, playing some of the finest hockey of the season, took another 3pts, temporarily taking them to top of the table, however teams have games in hand to overcome their points tally. A fine end to a hugely competitive and enjoyable season in Div 2NE.
Great credit goes to the team for their commitment and dedication. Huge thanks go to Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson – its been a tough season in many ways, none more so than because of all the injuries the team have had to contend with, but her belief, passion and commitment for the team is unrelenting!
Dev Boys A v Norwich City: 0-1
The second half started much the same as the first with City pressure but this time it resulted in a well worked goal for them. This seemed to be the kick that Dragons needed and they began to put together some good inter play in the midfield between Isaac Diver Gall, Tommy Chambers and James Cross with tireless running from Harvey Nkrumah and Casper Lind up front. But again, for all the great build up play, no equaliser could be found. City always looked dangerous on the break but great defence from Freddie Royall and Tom Jackson kept them at bay, and so the game ended 1-0 to City.
Although the result didn’t go Dragons way this was a really enjoyable game, played in the right spirt.