Hockey: Midlands win title again in perfect style

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The Independent Online
Midlands yesterday regained their Women's Under 21 Territorial Championship in style when they beat West 2-0 in their final game at the Milton Keynes National Stadium to maintain their 100 per cent record. East, last year's champions, hung on to a 1-0 victory against South, who did not win a point, in the last game to take second place.

For Midlands it was their sixth win out of the 15 times the competition has been contested, East having won it on the other nine occasions. Against West they started at breakneck speed, forcing two penalty corners inside the opening two minutes. From the second, Sally Wright's powerful strike was illegally stopped by Fran Ripley with Wright herself converting the resulting penalty stroke.

Midlands drove on to confirm their superiority with a solo goal from Louisa Turney in the 17th minute. Thereafter, as tiring limbs took over, the game lost direction with the final whistle coming as a relief to those watching.

East started their final day with a 2-1 win over North with goals from Liz Aldus and Tanya Barnard with a Laura Hughes goal coming in between. North, with the free-running Sandeep Kaur always looking dangerous, failed to finish off their attacks and had to accept third place.

In East's second game of the day, South dominated the opening exchanges, forcing a number of penalty corners without scoring. Their fourth attempt was intercepted by Kerry Moore who found Sally Tredgett with a long pass to set up Barnard for her second goal of the day and the only goal of the game.

Thereafter the game swung from end to end with few scoring chances until, on the stroke of time, South won the last of their 10 penalty corners. Like the others it was struck wide and East held on to their narrow victory.