Buckingham open up with win

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Buckingham Ladies 1st XI got their Investec England Hockey League campaign off to a flying start after beating Bristol Firebrands 6-3.

Keen to build on last season’s success, Buckingham started strong and quickly settled into their passing game.

It took just six minutes for visitors to break the deadlock when new signing Jo Ellis finished a neat passing move.

Buckingham remained on top and deservedly doubled their lead ten minutes later through striker Sam Sandham’s powerful shot.

Despite Buckingham’s superiority, the hosts defended well and threatened on the counter – scoring as a result through a penalty to reduce the deficit to just one at half time.

However, Buckingham made a superb start to the second half as Lorraine Campbell finished off a fantastic, length of the pitch passing move before Ellis got her second when she shot high into the net.

Unsettled by the loss of key central defender Kitty Higgins, who was forced to leave the pitch after receiving a deflected ball from close range to the face, Buckingham conceded a second goal, this time from open play.

Quick to respond, Buckingham reacted well with captain Katrina Nicholson using her pace to break through the midfield line before finding Fiona Farley, whose shot was deflected in by Victoria Ross.

Before the final whistle, the home side notched up their third from a penalty corner, but it was Buckingham’s Jess Bloom who had the final word when she skilfully deflected the ball into the top of the Firebrands goal in a well executed corner routine.

Despite a good performance and win, Buckingham will be keen to improve in the coming weeks.

This Saturday, Buckingham face ISCA, who make the long journey from Exeter to Stowe School for a 12pm start.