Marlow Women’s Hockey Club make history!

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This week’s sports report focuses on Marlow Hockey Club – leading with a sensational result, and season for the women’s team:

Women’s results

In emphatic fashion Marlow 1st XI were confirmed league champions, earning promotion to the National League, after a 6-2 victory versus Maidenhead. Congratulations to all the players and coaching staff who made history by becoming Marlow Hockey Club’s first-ever National League squad – all with three games still to play!

The first team had the opportunity to close in on the South Central Premier League title with a home game against mid-table neighbours Maidenhead.

With two key players injured and coming off their only season defeat against Oxford Hawks last time out, Marlow knew getting past a resilient Maidenhead side would be a tough battle.

Marlow started strongly and Helen Windsor opened the scoring in the third minute with her second goal of the season.

The pressure continued, and Rachel Goodwin was unlucky not to find herself on the score sheet, with a first-time shot narrowly missing the Maidenhead goal.

Still, the Maidenhead keeper stood firm, making some excellent saves to frustrate Marlow. Maidenhead responded to Marlow’s pressure, winning a short corner.

Maidenhead started to crack, and Lauren Hilditch superbly finished a speedy counterattack one-on-one with the goalkeeper on the 13th minute.

Hilditch slotted her second of the game just before halftime, taking the Reds into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

At halftime, the news broke from the sideline that second-placed Oxford Hawks fell to a shock defeat at home to Bournemouth which meant that if Marlow could maintain their lead, the league title would be theirs.

This news inspired the Reds to give their supporters a second half to enjoy and some goals to cheer.

Rachel Clarke finished some brilliant one-touch attacking build-up play with a calm shot through the keeper’s legs.

Minutes later, Beth Halbard converted a penalty corner from a narrow angle.

Mabel Daw continued to dominate the right-hand channels with her pace, unlocking Maidenhead’s defence and leading to a chance in front of goal for Maddy Peacock, whose first goal of the season still eluded her.

Martha Goodridge was happy to be included in the celebrations, not needing to be asked twice when the ball fell kindly at the back post.

Despite the scoreline, Maidenhead would not give in, and two excellent deflections led to the match finishing 6-2.

However, with the sound of the final whistle, the celebrations commenced. After coming so close to promotion for the previous three seasons, Marlow had finally secured their place in the National League after dominating the division all season.

Marlow coach Kate Porter took to X to express her excitement: ” Yesterday @MarlowHC W1s qualified for the National League. We still have to do a job to win the league but for now it’s time to focus on this incredible achievement. This could not have been done without their commitment, drive and desire to be better. So proud “.

Marlow await which National League division they will be drafted into, but can now have one eye on preparation and recruitment for the 2024/25 season!

Other ladies’ results:

  • 2nd Team lost to Haslemere 1s 3-1,
  • 3rd Team lost 2-0 to Reading 4s away,
  • 4th Team lost 4-0 to Oxford Hawks 4 away,
  • 5th Team beat Slough 3s 5-0 away,
  • 6th Team beat Newbury & Thatcham 5s 5-1, and
  • 7th Team beat Scarlet Runners 1s 3-1.

Men’s results

The 1st team were away to South Berkshire who they had beaten 5-1 before Christmas. A 3-3 result this time out meant Marlow were unable to advance from sixth position.

Despite dominating the entire game, Marlow were let down by some poor defensive errors. Mark Lowden made it 1-0 after neatly rounding the Goalkeeper.

South Berks scored twice and Marlow’s Chris Sewell scored with a ferocious strike after neatly bringing down an aerial ball.  

Sam North put Marlow ahead with a drag flick from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 with not long to go but South Berks scored the equaliser with about five seconds to play. Marlow remain in sixth place and next week and are at home to second placed Oxford OBU.

The 2nd team were at home to Andover 1sts who were experienced and well organised. The away side claimed all three points in a 4-2 victory.

Marlow passed the ball around well without creating many chances in the first half and Andover were content to break out of defence and take their chances when the opportunities came along, going two goals up at the break.

In the second half, Marlow played with more determination and scored with a fine strike by Alex Land following a penalty corner.

Andover scored again and Marlow tried even harder to reduce the deficit. 

Dave Harding made it 3-2 with a well-taken goal but Andover broke away again and made the final score 4-2. 

Other men’s results:

  • 3rd Team lost 4-1 to Henley 2s,
  • 4th Team beat Eastcote 4s 8-0 away,
  • 5th Team beat Amersham & Chalfont 5s 9-2,
  • 6th Team beat Wallingford 4s 2-0 away, and
  • 7th Team beat Eastcote 7s 5-3.

Article author: Cameron Beazley-Clarke

Sports reporter writing weekly round-ups for MyMarlow! Studying a masters in Journalism after graduating from The University of Nottingham with a degree in Environmental Biology. Born in Oxford, living in Longwick. Plays for Marlow Hockey Club first XI and coach at the hockey club and Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

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