Hockey: Timperley Ladies 1 - 3 Rochdale Ladies

Date published: 14 February 2024

This weekend Rochdale Ladies travelled to play Timperley 4ths away. As both teams threw themselves into the match, it appeared to be well matched, with both teams making it difficult for each other to progress whilst also opening up their own chances. Rochdale had found a sense of momentum as they were able to keep their composure and recover well when things got tough.

A short corner awarded to Rochdale was injected to Pickering, who instantly darted right and followed the inside curve of the D until she fired off the shot and it hit the backboard - guided in by her fellow forwards.

Timperley drew level later in the first half, Partington saved the original shot and at least two or three rebounds before finally an opponent managed to get low and lift the ball high into the goal from a rebound.

Another short corner for Rochdale was again injected to Pickering. This time, however, she handed it off left where Hodcroft had run forward, who then took the shot. It hit the keeper, and pinballed between her feet before Burrell encouraged the ball back towards the goal and over the backline, putting Rochdale back ahead.

Timperley had an excellent opportunity to pull level again when they got a short corner on the half time whistle, allowing them to push all their team up. The Rochdale defence kept their cool though, with Collinson and Leech zooming out to interfere with the striker's plans, and Hoyle with her flat stick firmly on the ground, they were able to see the ball off and stay ahead going into half time.

Outside of short corners there were some other good moments of play on display. Such as short sharp passes to pivot quickly around opponents in triangles and using their big hitters to switch across the wings. Pickering sent a strong shot all the way down the right wing to Knowles, but unfortunately the Timperley defence was able to see the ball out of bounds. Similarly Burrell received the ball high on the right wing, and slammed it across the pitch and Parton was able to turn to get a stick to it and stop it dead despite the strength of the pass. Unluckily she wasn't able to convert it into anything as Timperley closed her down and were able to see the ball safely away.

Both teams kept fighting hard though. And yet another short corner saw Rochdale in a good position. This time it was injected up to Hodcroft, who passed left to Knowles, who swept the ball towards the goal. It hit the post and rebounded towards the right where Hockaday had run in and she dropped her stick to redirect the ball back and get her name on the score sheet.

Timperley tried desperately to push back, and frequently managed to get inside the Rochdale D, but the defence was able to keep on top of it. Towards the end of the match it seemed like Rochdale couldn't help but give away short corners, but they saw all of them off.

Collinson in particular was on form as she kept blocking shots, even when having to drop low so that she had the steadfastness to stop a strong strike dead, and not long after was in a battle with an opponent who both had their sticks flat against the ball to try and win it back and neither budging, until finally Collinson was able to roll it enough for the striker to lose her grip of it and saw it out of her D.

Final score was 3-1, with Katie Burrell (1), Claire Hockaday (1) & Roisin Pickering (1) as Rochdale's goal scorers.

Player of the match was Dionne Collinson.

Captain Collinson said: "Amazing game. Calm, clinical with lots of communication. So proud ladies.”

Rochdale's team:
Keeper; Sam Partington.
Defence; Dionne Collinson, Claire Hoyle, Kieran Leech & Hannah Palmer.
Midfield; Claire Hockaday, Gemma Hodcroft, Daisy Parton & Roisin Pickering.
Forwards; Katie Burrell & Arabella Yates.
Substitutes: Lily Black, Becky Knowles, Paula McDonald.

Report by Hannah Palmer

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