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Croydon 2 come through tough test against Kingfisher

Croydon 2 made the trip down to Kent to play Kingfisher 1 in the first round of the cup in what was, on paper at least, a tough match, and so it proved. Kingfisher narrowly missed promotion to the National League last season, and so would have been fancying their chances against a new look Croydon team.

With some members of the club already getting some good match time under their belts at the Europa Shield, the opportunity was taken to give some of those who could not make the trip some much needed court time. As such, Steve Jones (capt) lined up in first attack with Dan Pratt, Marika Barretto and Julia Johnson, with Nigel Hudspith, Dan Moore, Tammy Kentfield and Anneka Barretto, making her first appearance for the club, in defence.

With new sections all round Croydon, perhaps understandably, got off to the slower start, and found themselves 3-1 down inside the first 10 mins as Kingfisher found their range from long distance. Croydon were soon into their rhythm however, and were soon controlling the basket well at both ends, creating a succession of chances. As important as this is, it is of little use if you donít convert some of your chances, and the shooting percentage throughout the team would not have made good reading for coach, Peter Allen. However this lack of precision does have some advantages as Anneka Barretto found herself completely free 3 metres from the post with the ball. Fortunately the effort on goal sailed over the rim, as she was in fact in defence at the time! A couple of long shots were finally converted (at the right end) just before half time, interspersed with a Hudspith running in shot and a Jones one handed special, to bring Croydon in at half time trailing 5-4, with defences well on top.

One change was made at half time, with Amanda Furlano coming on for Johnson. The second half brought better reward for the Croydon dominance as chances for Kingfisher dried up and the visitorís long shots started to drop. Jones continued to work the block well with Furlano, with Hudspith and Moore doing a similar number over the Kingfisher boys at the other end. This freed the girls and Pratt up to take the long shots, and they duly obliged with goals all round. Kingfisher continued to keep their shooting percentages high, converting a good number of the few chances they had, but a couple more for Jones from longer range and a quick conversion under the post by the ever improving Kentfield left Croydon 13-9 ahead with 10mins to go, and seemingly safe. There was just about time for a late Croydon wobble as Kingfisher scored 3 long range efforts in quick succession, two from cheap turnover ball, but Croydon shored it up just in time to hold out for a deserved 13-12 victory.

It bodes well as a gauge of the relative strength of the Croydon squad that they were able to leave out their starting line up from Europe and still win against a side who will be shooting for promotion this season. There is plenty of work to do of course, as there always is at this stage of the season, but given that players should only improve from here there is plenty of cause for optimism for the coming season.

Match Report by Andy

Final Score: Kingfisher 1 12 vs 13 Croydon 2

S Jones

N Hudspith

D Moore

D Pratt

T Kentfield

M Carvey

A Tydeman

A Furlano

J Johnson

Submitted by | Scoring Breakdown |
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