South Wales Hockey League
Swansea University 4ths 3 Castell Newydd Emlyn 1
Castell Newydd Emlyn lost 3-1 away to a very strong Swansea University 4ths side on the weekend, in a game which never really looked like theirs for the taking.
Emlyn were looking to end the first half of the season on a high in their last game before Christmas, after a string of wins had put them in a strong league table position. However, having had two of their last games on the trot cancelled, as well as the week’s training session called off due to a frozen pitch, it was already going to be a big ask of the ladies in red whose match fitness was lacking.
Despite some good breaks down the middle, the visitors spent much of the first half of the game, and indeed much of the second, in their own half of the pitch. Thanks to some excellent defensive work, Emlyn were lucky to be down by just 1 goal by half-time, but frustration was starting to show. The new and very bouncy water-based pitch caused quite a few problems for the visitors and Swansea continued to make life difficult for the reds who were struggling to get the ball up-front and out to the forwards. Some tight marking from the Swans prevented many a break from dangerous forward Enfys Davies, who was never really allowed to get going.
Another goal from Swansea made it 2-0 shortly after the start of the second half, but Emlyn did well to come back and thanks to some lovely passing and the hard work of midfielder Mel Williams, Enfys Davies (main pic) managed to take a well-aimed shot at goal to make it 2-1.
By this point, the lack of substitute players was starting to show in the visiting pack and in such a fast game, fresh legs were needed. A break down the right wing followed by a skilful pass into the D by Swansea proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Emlyn, who by the end had done well not to concede more goals, the final score standing at 3-1.
A special mention must go to goalkeeper and dame of the game, Nia Jones, for a stunning performance without which the score line would have been much higher. Mel Williams also had another great game despite still recovering from illness. Newcastle Emlyn were missing a number of regular players in the forwards, midfield and defence so will be hoping to make life difficult for the Swans when they travel to West Wales later in the New Year for the return game.