Hockey: Hightown left hanging on to early lead

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The Independent Online
Yana Williams, Hightown's Welsh international, scored twice within minutes of coming on as a substitute as the English club built up a 3-0 lead within the opening 26 minutes of their first game yesterday in the A Division of the European Club Championship against the Russian champions, Donchanka, writes Bill Colwill from Wassenaar, The Netherlands.

Hightown, although starting with a defensive line-up, began in aggressive fashion, with Maggie Souyave and Tina Cullen combining well to create a number of chances. The Russians always looked dangerous on the break and, but for good saves by Carolyn Reid, might have taken an early lead, but it was Cullen who put Hightown ahead in the 16th minute with a well- struck penalty corner.

A splendid move started by Fiona Lee in midfield sent Cullen away to provide the cross for the first of Williams' goals. Lee also initiated the move for Williams' second goal four minutes later, but within a minute slack marking in the English defence gave the Russians their first goal through Olga Oushokova.

After the interval Hightown were pinned in their own half and only some desperate defending by Caroline Gilbert and Reid kept them at bay until the 45th minute when Melina Tchegurdaeva pulled a second back.

A relieved Cullen said: "I am thrilled to bits. It was a bit frantic at the end but we held out."

Hightown: C Reid; M Morton, C Gilbert, L Carr, K Walsh; L Newcombe, F Lee, M Liptrott; M Souyave, T Cullen (capt). Substitute used: Y Williams.

Donchanka: G Moussina; I Sviridova; O Lexina, G Timonina, T Timonina; O Tarishneva, T Vasioukova (capt), S Kibanik; M Tchegurdaeva, I Piskounova, O Oushokova.

Umpires: M Power (Irl) and H Esnus (Fr).

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