5th October 2014 - Westonbirt School
The 2014/15 season got off to a flying start for the South West Women’s league on Sunday. The beautiful grounds at Westonbirt School played host to the first league tournament, which saw 8 of the 12 league teams compete in a round robin format.
A new addition to this season’s league is the “lions team”. This team allows clubs with too many or too few players combine forces and compete in a tournament as a friendly team, and proved to be a great success with representatives from Birmingham and surplus players from attending teams winning 5 out of their 8 games.
The round robin format of the first tournament meant a long and tough day for all involved, but all teams displayed exceptional performances with an extremely high standard of play throughout the whole day. Special thanks must firstly go out to our resident umpires – Kate Clark and Steve Smith, for their fantastic work in keeping all games safe and fair, and to James Amos for making sure all games were kept to schedule, the day couldn’t have run as smoothly without them!
It was clear from the outset that Cirencester and the newly formed South Coast Seagulls (combined team from Bournemouth and Southampton) were going to be particularly strong and the teams to beat. The Seagulls managed the outstanding feat of being undefeated for the whole tournament and deservedly topped the table with a maximum of 35 points. Storm Trentham provided a brilliant display of patience and control in attack, while Alana Zukas displayed impressive individual attack skills with a formidable shot.
For the first competition of the season, Cirencester gave an impressive display of team work with experience from SCOs Lexi Kelly and Karli MacKendrick, as well as fresh legs with seemingly endless energy in the form of Rendcomb students.
Last year’s league champions, Bristol Bombers, had a great start to their tournament with convincing wins over Bath LC, Aberyswyth, and Cardiff Harelquins. However the team seemed to tire and lose focus towards the end of the tournament seeing them finish 4th overall – only narrowly edged out by 1 point to Exeter Uni who placed 3rd. Exeter Uni, coached from the sideline by Sophy Coombes-Roberts, had a solid and consistent performance throughout the day with wins over Aberystywth, Bath LC, Bath Ladies and Cardiff Harlequins. After a draw with Bristol Bombers it was their close scored loss against Cirencester that saw them gain an extra point to secure 3rd place.
Cardiff Harlequins and Bath Ladies both had a challenging day but performed well against Aberyswyth and Bath LC, and both had closely fought matches with Exeter Uni. Cardiff’s win over Bath Ladies saw them take 5th and Bath Ladies 6th.
Bath LC and Aberystwyth are probably the least experienced teams in the league, but what they lack in experience they make up for in spirit and determination. Bath LC achieved their only win of the day against Aber, and performed exceptionally well against Cardiff Harlequins and Seagulls to tally up a couple of extra points securing 7th place. Aber have been continually improving since last season and prove it in the results as they only lost to Bath LC by 1 goal, and Cardiff Harlequins by 2. We are looking forward to seeing both of these teams progress and develop over the course of the season.
Huge congratulations again to the South Coast Seagulls on their win. All teams have got plenty to work on for the next tournament, which will be at Cheltenham Ladies College on Sunday 2nd November 2014.