VANBRUGH 3-2 DERWENT
College Varsity qualifiers semi-final
In a tight game between two evenly matched sides, Vanbrugh came out as victors against a determined Derwent after a solid second half performance.
Both teams started the match brightly with Vanbrugh’s Charlie Brown and Derwent’s Aimee Hardy testing their opponent’s goalkeepers, but both shot-stoppers were proving hard to beat.
Rhiannon Roy thought that she had broken the deadlock after five minutes, however referee Ellie Whittaker disallowed the goal as Roy was seen to have entered the D.
Vanbrugh’s chance at going ahead gave Derwent a wake-up call and they stepped up their attack.
A moment of magic from Angie Dem: after intercepting the ball from Vanbrugh in their half, she broke down the left and fired a wicked left-footed shot into the side netting at the far post.
Derwent now had the wind in their sails and they grew in confidence as the half went on, creating more chances.
However, Derwent’s defence was often leaving the likes of Brown and Maria Davies with too much room in front of goal and, eventually, Davies took advantage of the space when she forced an equaliser via a finessed shot.
As the first half drew to a close, the chances were coming thick and fast for both sides. A deflected short forced a good reflex save from Derwent keeper Anna Cook, whilst at the other end, Rohanna Nilson forced an athletic save from Vanbrugh keeper Meg Phillips.
Then, before the half-time whistle, two goals in two minutes suddenly brought the Sports Tent to life.
A break away from Sarah Rentoul allowed her to put Derwent momentarily back in the lead, however Vanbrugh came at Derwent straight after the restart and a determined Roy was able to slot away a well-taken equaliser.
In the second half, both teams set themselves up more defensively and chances were harder to come by. Katherine Wilson forced a save from Philips for Derwent.
Vanbrugh responded and they grew in tenacity as the half went on, with Derwent often on the back foot in their own half.
Eventually, Vanbrugh found their goal after Derwent failed to clear their lines, allowing Brown to fire a shot from the left side into goal via the far post.
Derwent continued to struggle to create goal-scoring opportunities as Vanbrugh saw the rest out, with Roy dictating much of their defensive play.
Roy, Vanbrugh’s experienced centre-back, was solid at the back, but also showed her versatility as a player after she looked hugely threatening with the ball at her feet in front of goal, scoring the equalising goal to keep her side in the game.
It was a performance that definately warranted her being crowned the player of the match.
A delighted Maria Davies, Vanbrugh captain, told Nouse: “It was really, really tense and Derwent played really, really well. I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be until right to the very end. The team played really well and we’re through to Varsity!”
Derwent captain Anna Cook added: “Derwent played really well; I’m really proud of all the girls and we put a great effort out. It was a really close match but well done to Vanbrugh”.
Vanbrugh: Phillips, Brown, Connnolly, Maguire, Davies (C), Roy, Troetgruben, Churchill
Derwent: Cook (C), Wilson, Nilson, Dem, Livesey, Hardy, Rentoul, Carroll, Patsia
Player of the match: Rhiannon Roy