Amber Valley Hornets missed out on a place in the final of the Derbyshire Cup competition after a 3-2 loss to Derby Asterdale.
With only a few weeks having passed since Derby Asterdale beat the Hornets in their league match, the two sides met again in the cup semi final. With a place in the final up for grabs, it promised to be a well-fought game and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The Hornets received an early warning of the power of the Derby attack when a quick break led to a great cross that deserved to be knocked into the back of the net, but wasn’t.
Kate Salt, Lynn Creswell and Terri Cartledge were the busier of the defences to start with, but it was Sarah Joyce at the other end who opened the scoring. The goal should have steadied the Hornets’ obvious nerves but even before pats on backs had been awarded, Asterdale had drawn level and before the break had taken the lead with a fierce penalty corner strike and only some great saves stopped them extending their lead.
The second half saw Asterdale go 3-1 up despite Rachel Warner throwing herself in front of stick and ball alike and Sarah Poplar making good tackles on the wing. The Hornets responded well though and started to work the Derby keeper more. who was forced to make a save at full stretch that received applause from players on both teams.
The Derby side always looked dangerous due to their quick attacks and were proving difficult to break down, but it was Sarah Joyce again that gave the Hornets hope by collecting the ball on the halfway line, running into the d and slotting the ball home.
A one-goal deficit always leads to an interesting last few minutes of any match and as the Hornets pushed forward they forced a rare penalty corner and then another just as the final whistle went.
The penalty corner has to be played out and as all the Hornets surrounded the d, the ball came into play only for the shot to whizz wide of the mark.
A loss may not have been the result the Hornets had wished for, but it had certainly been a great cup tie to take part in with fine play from both sides.