Women’s Lacrosse march on in nationals

by Peter Vickers

A comfortable 25-4 quarter-final victory for Durham over visitors, Edinburgh assured them a deserved semi-final spot in the Championships.

Durham went into the game as massive favourites after an impressive 39-0 obliteration of St Andrews last week and they weren’t about to allow any upsets, picking up where they left off by netting 16 times in the first half with only a solitary Edinburgh reply.

Edinburgh came out much stronger in the 2nd half and matched Durham goal for goal in the early stages before the home team’s superior skill, fitness and organisation allowed them to stretch the lead further and finish at a canter.

Overall, there was a gulf of class between the two teams as Edinbugh’s defence could not handle the penetration and innovation of Durham’s forward play. The goals came thick and fast and there was never any doubt of any result other than a palatinate victory.

Katie Sloane and Hannah Shaw were instrumental in Durham’s success, scoring and providing assists throughout the game. Sloane’s speed and passing ability seemed to open up Edinburgh’s defence at will, whilst Shaw’s solo goal at the start of the second half stood out as she successfully evaded a pair of tacklers numerous attempts to strip the ball before finishing well.

The goals came from everywhere, with Tessa Coddington, Alicia Hockless, Nicole Adam, Chelseas Martinez, Christie Barnes and Justine Thorner all getting in on the goal-scoring action, showing the strength and depth of Durham’s squad.

The team’s work rate was excellent, especially after Edinburgh’s mini-fight-back in the 2nd half.  They tracked well and often double-teamed in defence, turning possession regularly and then launching counters. Sloane and Whitney Thayer in particular hustled well off the ball.

Senior Coach Jess Adam described the game as a great win, “This week posed a greater threat than last week and we handled it well” she said afterwards, “In offence, our ball movement was good and we can really see now the season is well into the second term that the team has meshed and they’re playing really well together.”

Looking forward to the Semi-finals in Manchester next week, Coach Adam is conservative, “There’s no doubt it will be tougher still but we will be ready. If we tighten up a bit in defence, impose a bit more of a presence, plus if the girls go out and enjoy themselves, we could do really well.”

Victory next week against will book the Ladies a place at the Championship Finals, taking place in Sheffield on the weekend of the 18th March; where success is very much a realistic ambition.