BUCKINGHAM 1st XI maintained their five-point lead at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference West table with a 1-0 win against last season’s runners-up Swansea City.
Having won all of their first five games, Buckingham knew this would prove to be their toughest test of the season so far with Swansea welcoming back their seven Welsh internationals.
The home side began well and quickly found their passing rhythm to force Swansea to sit deep and allow Buckingham to dictate the pace of the opening half.
But, despite the hosts dominating and creating several chances, the scores remained level at half time.
However, Buckingham began the second half in superb style – Jess Bloom scoring inside the first two minutes from a well-rehearsed penalty corner routine.
The nerves then seemed to take over which presented Swansea with a couple of opportunities as they pressed aggressively and forced Buckingham to defend resolutely.
The home side were fortunate to hold onto their lead when Swansea missed a golden one-on-one chance but Buckingham showed tremendous spirit to hold on and clinch a vital victory.
Buckingham visit Taunton Vale this weekend.
Meanwhile, the 1st XI will face Beeston away in the third round of the Investec Women’s Cup after beating rivals Oxford Hawks 4-0.
In fast-paced encounter, Buckingham took the lead through Vikki Ross.
The home side then took command of the match with Sam Sandham doubling the lead and Jess Bloom adding a third on the stroke of half time.
Buckingham began the second period as they ended the first – with captain Katrina Nicholson and Bloom combining to set up Jo Ellis for a goal 35 seconds after the break. Royal Latin pupil and 15-year-old Ellen Hudson was named Player of the Match.
Elsewhere, the 2nd XI recorded a mammoth 11-1 win over Milton Keynes.
Sophie Tuckett’s strike set Buckingham on their way before they started to move the ball with pace and accuracy to give them a 5-1 half time lead with goals from Ella Cusack, Jaz Needham, Vikki Ross and Player of the Match Tash Finchett.
In the second half, captain Andrea Freshwater finished off a smart move while Ellen Hudson, Kirsty Freshwater also scored before Andrea and Finchett completed their hat-tricks.
Elsewhere, Buckingham U16s won both of their opening EHB Triangular games of the season.
A hat-trick from Valerie Madojemu helped Buckingham beat Northampton Saints 7-1 with Kirsty Freshwater scoring twice and one goal each for Fay Burn and Jaz Needham.
In their second game against Warwick, early goals from Burn and two from Freshwater gave Buckingham a 3-1 half time lead.
Jess Lee notched a brace after half time while Madojemu and Needham also scored in a convincing 7-1 win.