South Wales Hockey League
Newcastle Emlyn 4 Swansea Uni 5ths 1:
Two goals from attacking midfielder Mel Williams helped steer Newcastle Emlyn Ladies to an impressive 4-1 success over Swansea University on the weekend.
Williams who is one of the most consistent performers in this improving team was one of several who shone against the Swansea team with none better than player of the game Sioned Davies.
The Swans who were sitting just below Emlyn in the league table, proved to be formidable opponents in the corresponding fixture which ended in a 2-2 draw and so both teams had a point to prove. Emlyn got off to a great start, stifling many an attack from the Swans down their left wing, thanks to a combined effort from midfielder Sioned Jones, backs Leah Kitson-James and Ellie Lloyd, and sweeper and captain, Lowri Hubbard.
In attack, player of the game Sioned Davies capitalised on this and did a great job bringing the ball up the field with assistance from experienced midfielder Mel Williams, and striker Enfys Davies and it was the reds who broke the deadlock.
From a penalty corner receiver Williams passed the ball to left-forward Amy Heighton who squared the ball to Enfys Davies who slipped it through the keeper’s legs to make it 1-0.
There were no more goals in the opening half with Emlyn’s replacement goalie Heledd-Mai Lloyd, who stepped in for regular keeper Angharad Jenkins, proving to be an able deputy and keeping a clean sheet in the first half.
It was a different story in the second-half, with Swansea pushing hard immediately from the first whistle. A surge down the centre caught the home defence off-guard and the students equalised following a period of pressure.
The reds though hit back, thanks largely to the team’s very promising group of youngsters who continue to impress each week. In particular, defensive pair Rosie Hughes and Hafwen Jenkins stepped up the plate and were instrumental in the backline, as well as skilful duo Emma Brazier and Ffion Davies in attack.
Another attack from Emlyn resulted in a penalty corner, one of a number awarded to the hosts in the second half as frustration started to show amongst the university side. Williams received once again from a short corner and decided to go herself this time, taking the ball right and with a powerful hit her strike was bang on target. By now, Emlyn were all over Swansea and it came as no surprise when a third goal arrived thanks to an assist from Enfys Davies who passed to Heighton (main pic) who beat the keeper with a backhand flick to make it 3-1.
Swansea’s defence was struggling by this stage and several of their players had been penalised multiple times for stick tackling despite the umpire’s warning that the next stick infringement would result in a card. Finally a Swansea defender committed one offence too many at the edge of the circle and was sent off with a green card and the umpire awarded a penalty corner.
In similar fashion, Williams bagged her second goal of the game with a shot into the right-hand side of the goal and it was 4-1 to the visitors and game over.
An excellent win for the reds and especially so following a narrow defeat last week against Cardiff University and they will be looking to build on this when they take on Sue Noakes at home in what is sure to be a tense game between two rivals who were both promoted last season and who’s last meeting resulted in a 3-3 draw.