Ladies in national final as prolific Boyd hits hat-trick

Ladies Hockey

Ladies Hockey

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Eastbourne ladies are through to the final of the England Vase thanks to a Nat Boyd hat-trick.

The ladies came from behind to thrash Stafford 5-1 and further increase their chances of more silverware this season after lifting the league trophy last week.

The game started fast and neither side could keep hold of the ball for prolonged periods.

Eastbourne were attempting to keep the ball but Stafford were pressing well.

Stafford opened the scoring in the first ten minutes with a swift counter attack move.

An Eastbourne attack broke down and the ball found its way to an unmarked Stafford player who slotted it home.

Going behind early on may have helped Eastbourne as they really turned it on after conceding.

While going behind so early on after a gruelling four hour journey, lesser teams might have caved, but this Eastbourne side do not know when they are beaten.

Sharon Clay and Claire Noble showed some good passing the middle of the park as well as Hannah Collins, Katie Hilsdon and Lisa Black defending well behind them.

Boyd, who has been prolific all season, then levelled the scores midway through the first half from a short corner.

Noble’s original shot was saved and the ball fell to Boyd made no mistake to slam it home.

Eastbourne continued to press and took the lead ten minutes before half time.

The ball was fed through to Boyd who slotted it past the helpless goalkeeper from an acute angle for her second goal of the game.

The second half was fast paced just like the first and the coaches half -time team-talk looked to have done the trick as Eastbourne took control and pressed well, resulting in a third goal scored by Jen Atkins.

Despite having a two goal lead, the away side did not take their foot off the gas and were playing some impressive hockey.

Eastbourne’s confidence was growing by the minute and as a result, Boyd secured her hat-trick midway through the second half.

Clay slipped the ball to Boyd who put it away to claim her third goal of the match.

They could almost touch a place in the final at this point but this ruthless Eastbourne side were not done scoring just yet. Atkins grabbed her second goal of the game after Katie Love’s shot was parried out by the goalkeeper to the oncoming Atkins who placed the ball in the back of the net.

The ladies play in the final on April 26 at Beeston Hockey Club against Winchester Ladies 1sts.

After already tasting success in the league, the ladies will be keen to add to their trophy haul this season.

The players were quick to thank the coaches and supporters, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.