East women win seventh title

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The Independent Online
East duly claimed their seventh Women's Under-21 Territorial title at the Milton Keynes National Stadium yesterday but not before they suffered a few shocks from an entertaining West side in their 2-2 draw.

When Kerry Moore scored East's second goal 10 minutes into the second half, after Sarah Marsh had given them a 1-0 interval lead, a win seemed certain. But two goals by West in three minutes midway through the half ensured a tight finish, with a disorganised East desperately hanging on at the end.

For West, Anna Lambert picked up a poor clearance from the East captain, Canterbury's Melanie Clewlow, to run 50 yards through the East defence to score a fine goal, and then Jenna Martin struck a sweetly timed penalty corner to equalise.

Careless defending by East gave West another couple of chances to snatch the game before the final whistle. The draw was enough to give West the overall win in the tournament - now into its 12th year - over South.

The Welsh international Louise Bevan scored in each half as South beat North, 2-0. Both goals came from follow-ups of two of South's 16 penalty- corner attempts. Midlands, last year's champions, came from behind to beat West, 2-1, in the last match of the day, with two goals in the last three minutes. Karen Heckley had put West ahead after 17 minutes after good work down the right by Jenna Martin.

West, playing their second match of the day, tried to defend their narrow lead and all but did it thanks to a string of outstanding saves from their goalkeeper Rachael Cleave before Jennie Bimson and Natalie Hannah converted the late chances, both of which were set up by Lucilla Wright.

In the Under-18 tournament at the Milton Keynes club, East won the title from North, with the Midlands claiming the Under-16 title from East.