Hockey: Reading's brave defence in vain: Outsiders beaten on penalties

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The Independent Online
Teddington battled their way through to their second successive Royal Bank of Scotland Hockey Association Cup final against the holders, Hounslow, but required a penalty stroke barrage to knock out the Second Division champions, Reading, in a hard-fought game, which was 1-1 at the end of normal time, at Reading yesterday.

In a goalless first half dominated by Teddington's Great Britain captain, Jason Laslett, it was only stout defending by Reading's sweeper Charlie Oscraft and a string of saves from their goalkeeper Nick Taylor which kept the Berkshire side in the contest. Reading's unimaginative attacks were limited to long aerial balls from the captain, Paddy Osborn, which Teddington dealt with confidently.

Teddington forced a series of penalty corners but it was not until their ninth in the 50th minute that they took the lead, Phil McGuire slipping the ball to Jon Hauck to score off Taylor's pads.

The goal appeared to be the signal for Teddington to sit back, allowing Osborn to move forward. Arriving in Teddington's circle on the hour Osborn had his stick chopped and gave Gary Meredith no chance from the penalty spot.

When Mark Hoskin put Reading's third stroke wide in the penalty shoot-out Teddington had merely to hold their nerve. They did, although Tony Colclough's final effort did little more than trickle home.

Ipswich, the women's National League champions, stayed on course for an unprecedented double when they beat Chelmsford 2-1 in a scrappy AEWHA Cup quarter-final at Tuddenham Road after allowing the visitors to open the scoring in the fourth minute, Kath MacDonald taking advantage of a hesitant defence.

Ipswich clawed their way back into the game with Vicky Dixon netting the equaliser in the 15th minute from a penalty stroke after an horrendous tackle on England's captain, Sandie Lister. Ipswich's winner came from a Tracy Fry penalty corner in the 20th minute, although in an exciting but goalless second half Ipswich owed much to the experience of Lister and Helen Bray to see them home.

The European Cup holders, First Personnel Sutton Coldfield, took 22 minutes to score their first goal at home to Exmouth, Jane Sixsmith collecting a penalty corner, but three goals from veteran England and Great Britain striker Jane Swinnerton saw them to a comfortable 4-0 win.