A WONDERFUL individual goal from Jo Ellis saw Buckingham 1st XI beat Trojans 2-1 to maintain their imperious form with an eighth straight win in the Investec Women’s Hockey League.
The home side started well but, despite creating a number of chances, it was the visitors who scored first against the run of play as an unfortunate deflection resulted in a goal from a penalty corner.
Buckingham remained focussed though, and continued to play their expansive passing game but they couldn’t penetrate the visiting defence for the rest of half.
After the break, the hosts quickly regained the ascendency and eventually they were rewarded for their endeavour when Ellis fired the ball home after a fine passing move that involved Ellie Cockburn and Kat Nicholson.
The chances kept on coming for Buckingham but it appeared the match would end in a draw with Trojans highlighting why they are third in the table as they defending superbly.
However, a moment of individual brilliance from Ellis proved to be the difference. After collecting the ball outside the D, she went on a mazy run – beating four defenders – before slipping the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper to score what proved to be the match winner. Buckingham created further chances in the closing minutes but they settled for a 2-1 win that sees them remain five points clear.
There was yet further success for Buckingham on Sunday as they progress through to the quarter-final of the National Cup with a 4-1 win against Beeston.
Once again they began superbly and pushed their opponents back right from kick-off with the home goalkeeper forced to make some fine saves to keep the match scoreless. The game appeared to be heading for a goalless first half but Zoe Shipperley scored right on the stroke of half time to put Buckingham ahead.
They carried on with their dominance in the second half as Shipperley fired in a second goal before some strong play from Leanne Grimsley and the outstanding Kat Nicholson allowed Jess Bloom to score from close range.
An exquisitely-weighted through ball from Ellis then saw Bloom one-on-one and she rounded the ‘keeper to score.Beeston scored a consolation late on but it was too late to stop Buckingham progressing to the quarter-final, where they will host Wimbledon in February.
Meanwhile, Buckingham Ladies IIs extended their lead at the top of TrySports Division One to six points after two emphatic wins.
The team have now won eight from eight having beaten Oxford Hawks 12-1 and Wokingham 9-0.
Up against second-placed Oxford, Buckingham stormed into a 6-1 half time lead after a dominant display.
Jaz Needham kick-started the scoring before Andrea Freshwater scored a brace while there was a goal each for Ella Cusack, Abby and Kirsty Freshwater.
Buckingham kept up their intensity after half time as Immy Burn added to their lead.
Sophie Tuckett did well to set up Andrea for three further goals before the scoring was completed by Needham and Cusack to end an impressive performance from the hosts.
Earlier in the week, the IIs travelled to Berkshire where they thrashed Wokingham 9-0.
After an anxious opening, Tuckett calmed any Buckingham nerves with the first goal as Fay Burn and Jordan Palmer distributed the ball well.
Some pin-point passing and good midfield play from Katie Mack, Fi Farley and Kirsty Freshwater kept Buckingham on top before Andrea Freshwater scored four goals to reach 20 goals for the season in seven matches.
Imogen Burn scored twice and Tuckett added two more to complete an emphatic victory.
This weekend Buckingham travel to Reading.
Finally, Buckingham Ladies IIIs also maintained their imperious form in a 1-0 victory against Henley to win their seventh straight game and stretch their lead at the top of Division Five to six points
The hosts played their usual attacking game but they were met with some solid Henley defending in a game that ebbed and flowed throughout with Buckingham controlling possession.
The only goal of the game came from a penalty corner as Erin Coulter fired the ball in before moving inside and deflecting the ball into the net.
Henley continued to play well and work hard but Buckingham defenders Issy Honour, Ellie Thomas and Melissa Sacharov performed well to keep a clean sheet and put the home side back on the attack.
However, the experienced Henley defence – supported by their midfield players – frustrated every attempt to increase the score, leaving Buckingham to settle for a 1-0 victory.
Issy Honour was voted most valued player for her excellent work.
Buckingham IIIs meet Oxford 6s at 11:00 at Stowe tomorrow.