Morpeth end season with a four-goal away-day victory

The Morpeth Hockey Club Ladies first team line up before their final game of the season.
The Morpeth Hockey Club Ladies first team line up before their final game of the season.

Leeds University Ladies I 2 Morpeth Ladies I 4 North Hockey Women’s League, Division One

MORPETH finished off their season in style with an impressive away win.

With a few fragile bodies among the 11-man squad, the visitors would need to be at their best to claim three points from their lively-looking rivals.

Neither side began timidly by any means, but it was Leeds who went ahead early on after being awarded a questionable penalty flick.

Morpeth did not seem fazed and within minutes they piled on the pressure, securing a flurry of short corners but to no avail.

Nevertheless, Moore, the Northern Irish forward who had a superb game, managed to intercept a weak pass down the left and with great skills got herself into the D to slot the ball across the face of goal, which Hagan diverted into the backboard.

But the equaliser was short-lived as the Yorkshire side claimed another penalty flick after the ball hit a foot on the line and this one was also placed into the goal.

With 25 minutes gone, the away side finally got their shape and kept the Leeds keeper busy with some great link-up play on the forward line between Moore, Hagan and Blissett. They continued with a high press into the second half and it paid off as the opposition struggled to work the ball out of their defensive half, allowing Morpeth to close them down and regain possession.

It was their third successive short corner that brought the visitors even once again with Hagan’s straight shot rebounding off the keeper and into the path of Bowler on the left post who scrambled the ball into the back of the net.

Telford-Cooke, playing at left-half, worked relentlessly to close down the Leeds attackers and allow her team mates time to re-group. Watkins took a defensive hit out on the left, which was the catalyst for one of the best-worked goals of the season.

Some excellent two-touch link-up play between Hamilton and Bell in their own half generated momentum, with the ball being sent up the left flank to Moore who again showed her prowess by neatly bypassing several young Leeds defenders on her way to the byline.

To her team-mates’ surprise, she cut the ball back towards the penalty spot where Hagan, ready as ever, slotted the ball away to give her team the lead.

A lack of goals certainly hasn’t been a problem for Morpeth this season and it was fitting that top goalscorer Hagan clinched her second hat-trick within the space of just a few weeks to put the game out of the home side’s reach.

Another interception and a break in the middle of the park saw Bowler make a surging run towards the right-hand side of the D and with a perfectly weighted pass across goal, Hagan had the simplest of finishes.

Even at 4-2 ahead, Morpeth were by no means cruising as Leeds continued to apply pressure and produced a couple of short corners, but neither forced Rose into action.