Buckingham Ladies Hockey Club claimed their first three points in the Investec Premier Division with a deserved 3-1 win over Bowdon Hightown.
Following two defeats in their opening two matches this season, Buckingham were desperate to put their first points on the board when they welcomed Bowdon to Stowe School and goals from Zoe Shipperley, Jess Bloom and Leanne Grimsley ensured victory.
Buckingham head coach Zak Jones said afterwards: “It was a pleasing performance and a fantastic result for the squad and the club as a whole.
“The girls showed great resilience to play through a poor start and come back in the second half. Our fitness looked good which is testament to the amount of work the girls have put in on Mark Mullineaux’s new conditioning programme.
“We were all pretty frustrated not to get anything out of our first two games so this result is no more than the girls deserved and should give them the belief that they are able to both compete and win at this level.”
Despite making a strong start, Buckingham found themselves behind as early as the ninth minute when England U18 international Holly Hunt fired in a shot that deflected past the helpless Anna Searle in the home goal.
With the home side struggling to find their rhythm due to a lack of accuracy, there were few chances during the remainder of the half as the two defences dominated.
The second half was a different story, however, as Buckingham came out firing on all cylinders and they pulled level when some fine individual skill by standout player Aime Hone resulted in Buckingham’s second penalty corner from which captain Shipperley rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
With confidence high and the home side beginning to find their passing rhythm, Buckingham began to enjoy the majority of territory and possession and, on 55 minutes from their sixth penalty corner, the home side took the lead when Bloom deflected the ball past the visiting goalkeeper.
As the heat began to take its toll, Buckingham began to display their superior fitness and they looked the stronger side.
In the 62nd minute the visitors were temporarily reduced to 10 players following a poor tackle and Buckingham ruthlessly exploited the opportunity as, just three minutes later, a fine passing move down the right hand side involving Great Britain and Scotland International Morag Mclellan, Katrina Nicholson and Anita Bazini culminated in Grimsley finishing from close-range.
Bowdon threw everything at the home side in the last few minutes, forcing Anna Searle into a couple of fine saves in the dying moments, but Buckingham held onto secure a historic first Premier League win for the club.
This weekend the side play on Sunday at 12:30pm when they travel to Reading.