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Andover Ladies clinch county title with two games in hand
Basingstoke Ladies 0 Andover Ladies 3.
Andover Ladies made history on Saturday by winning promotion into the South League.
After several frustrating seasons coming second, they are now eight points clear with two games remaining.
The Ladies are still unbeaten after a hard fought victory against Basingstoke on an unpredictable pitch where they were forced to fight and hassle to come out victorious. It took some time to settle into their usual rhythm and Basingstoke broke through but Hazel Stacey in goal made an excellent diving save.
However, Andover turned defence into attack and promptly broke the deadlock, when Belle Penfound scored after good work from Laura Molloy.
Basingstoke battled on making physical challenges, which disrupted Andover's passing but captain Anika Drage twice went close.
Andover rallied and Molloy’s penalty flick was disallowed which spurred Andover forward in the second half.
Tactical changes by coach Mike Boyne made the second half a more comfortable affair. Lizzie Vincent and Kelly Drage worked tirelessly in midfield providing more shooting chances which Ellie Ingram joyfully accepted and Andover continued to pepper the goal, forcing Basingstoke to concede a further penalty stroke.
Molloy stepped up again and flicked the ball home for a well deserved goal.
With two matches remaining and an EHA National Cup semi-final trip to Guernsey awaiting the Ladies this may prove to be the most successful run in their history.
Match reports and comment to follow and catch the full round up of Andover Hockey Club news in Friday’s Advertiser.