Amy’s penalty saves put Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Over 35s into semi-final

Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Over 35s hockey squad.

Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Over 35s hockey squad.

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Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Over 35s hockey squad, aka The Donkeys, trotted 300 miles south to play Oxford Hawks in the quarter-finals of the Investec Masters over 35s England Cup competition.

The team is made up of members of all the squads in the club from the fourth team to the firsts.

Both teams had chances in the first half failing to convert those opportunities due to exceptional goalkeeping on both sides.

Sarah Buckton was unlucky not to convert a goal from open play, which was followed by several penalty corners being awarded to both sides.

With a full squad of 16, such is the enthusiasm of players to be part of the competition, the Whitley Bay team was rotated throughout the game.

After a positive half-time talk from Ali Gordon, the team attacked strongly continuing to put pressure on the opposition.

Towards the end of normal time, however, a run down the pitch by one the Hawks who then cut inside the Whitley Bay defence to hit the ball past the diving to score.

The goal fired up the visitors and two minutes later their efforts paid off when Kath Smith equalised.

Despite Whitley pressing and forcing two penalty corners, the game went to penalty flicks.

And Whitley goalkeeper Amy Tapping turned out to be the hero as she saved two of the Hawks’ kicks, while Whitley only missed one.

Tapping was named Whitley Bay & Tynemouth’s player of the match.

Whitley Bay have been drawn against Bowdon HC in the semi-final, to be played on March 13, at The Parks Centre North Shields.