Intrepid Buxton Ladies dipped their toes in the waters of competitive league hockey for the first time in 15 years -- and they couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
For they celebrated an historic victory, beating Wulfric, of Uttoxeter, 1-0 in the Second Division of the Derbyshire Women’s League.
Wulfric started strongly, but Buxton held firm, with player-of-the-match Emily Bradbury, Sharon Sessions and Julie Shaw keeping things tight at the back, and it didn’t take them long to take control.
Nicole Roe and Kirsten Moore worked hard in the middle of the field to take the game to their hosts, while Kirsty Dewberry made a nuisance of herself in the D and Lesley Montgomery-White repeatedly tested the defence with commanding runs down the wing.
With several chances and penalty corners, it was only a matter of time before Buxton took the lead. A cracker of a shot from Montgomery-White took a deflection and sailed past the ‘keeper.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, the visitors kept up their workrate, and terrific link-up play from Emma Alexander, Kate Higgins-Brown and Annie Baldwin created more chances which couldn’t quite be converted.
Buxton went into the second half determined to remain strong, helped by fantastic travelling support and making excellent use of substitutes. The game continued to be end to end, with Helen Szostakowicz forced to make some timely saves in goal. But Buxton’s teamwork and unrelenting effort did not let them down.
Meanwhile, Buxton men’s second team were unfortunate to lose their first pre-season home game against Midland League rivals, Mansfield.
A much-changed side, which included some junior players and a new captain, went down 4-1, although there were still plenty of positives to take from their performance. Buxton’s goal came in an end-to-end first half, which ended all-square.