Newcastle Emlyn ladies travelled to Hawthorn High School for their second encounter against Rhondda 1s. With bare 11 in the squad, the ladies knew that it would be a hard 70 minutes.

Emlyn ladies started with the pushback, and immediately attacked in numbers against the home teams’ defence. Rhondda had a few good hitters and disguised slappers which threw Emlyn’s ability to read the game, but youngster Alaw Elisa in the sweeper position, managed to intercept and track on many occasions, regaining possession.

Alaw soon found Enfys Davies who was left unmarked to start the attack with captain Sara Patterson. With a few passes between both, they soon found themselves in the attacking circle, where Enfys took a strike towards the bottom right corner, 0-1 to the traveling team. Rhondda fought back hard against Emlyns’ defense, but Ellie Lloyd played cool and composed as usual to block the ball from getting into the circle.

Vice captain Sioned Davies and Amy Heighton-Purnell in right and left defence also worked well by tackling and intercepting the ball before releasing to the midfielders. Efa Jones and Mel Williams worked hard to feed the ball to the attackers and continuously following players to limit their chance of attack. Patterson managed to intercept their transfers in the back on two occasions in the first half, allowing a strong attack including Flo Plant and Izzy Yates on the left.

Yates won a short corner, but unfortunately didn’t lead to a goal. With minutes to go before the whistle for half time, Rhondda won a free hit outside their attacking circle, where the ball was struck into an Emlyns’ foot. Whilst adjusting to the injury, Rhondda re-took the free hit quickly and a strike from the top of the circle flew into the back of the goal.

Tivyside Advertiser: Enfys DaviesEnfys Davies (Image: Newcastle Emlyn Ladies Hockey Team)

Emlyn knew they had a big half ahead and were keen to take back the lead. Rhondda had changed their formation slightly which meant they had a larger number of attackers working towards goal. Angharad Jenkins performed save after save from various types of strikes, and the defensive trio continuously got rid of the ball to the wings.

Plant had a few runs down the left which got Emlyn closer to their attacking circle. The ladies were getting tired by the last 10 minutes from having no substitutions, and Rhondda took advantage of this. In the last two minutes of the game, a Rhondda strike meant they took the lead in a hard fought battle, 2-1 to the home team.

Goalkeeper Angharad Jenkins was awarded player of the match for the second week running.

No game for the ladies next weekend, but they’re back in action at home against top of the league team Dowlais on the 24th of February