The semi-final of the Investec England Hockey Over 35’s Cup brought Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Women’s Team, aka The Donkeys, a home fixture against Bowdon Ladies.
The match was held at The Parks in North Shields on Sunday with a good turn out of local support for the home side.
Bowdon brought some well-known players in the shape of Sally Walton, a bronze medal winner for GB at the 2012 Olympics, and Tina Cullen MBE, who represented GB in two consecutive Olympics.
The first half saw pressure from both sides. However, the visitors took advantage of their breaks with Walton opening the scoring before another two were added to make the half-time score 3-0.
As in similar matches in the competition, The Donkeys had a squad of 15 and in the second half the home side utilised their rotation of players to ensure involvement from all and rest for those who needed it.
The home side’s determination paid off with a great team effort from the forwards resulting in a goal by Janice Hutton.
But Bowdon came back with two more goals before Whitley Bay forward Ange Crane scored a fantastic goal, striking the ball into the far corner beating the Bowdon keeper.
Bowdon sealed their victory when the home keeper was green carded, resulting in a flick to the visitors and a further final goal by Walton to make the final score 7-2.
Although not reflected in the score, the game was end to end with a valiant effort put in by the whole team led by Ali Gordon.
This was a progression from last year’s competition where the club reached the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, the club’s Ladies’ 2nds beat Newcastle University 2-1.
Whitley Bay started well and put plenty of pressure on the University side, but they responded with several impressive attacks which were dealt with by a strong defence, Amy Astill making some crucial interceptions.
Mistakes were also made on both sides but Whitley came off best with goals from Sophie at a penalty corner and Lottie Gill in open play.
Other results: Brooklands 6 Men’s 1sts 2; Wakefield 3 Ladies’ 1sts 1; Men’s 2snds 0 Durham University 2; Men’s 3rds 2 Marton Furness 3; Ladies’ 3rds 5 Richmond 0.