Delasalle’s penalty-flick sudden-death save sends SOHC ladies into Devon Cup final

12:00 27 February 2014

Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club ladies first team after winning their Semi Final cup match V Exe 2 on 22.02.14. Photo by Pail Clayden. Ref shsp Sidmouth & Ottery ladies first team

Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club ladies first team after winning their Semi Final cup match V Exe 2 on 22.02.14. Photo by Pail Clayden. Ref shsp Sidmouth & Ottery ladies first team

© Paul Clayden 2014

SOHC 1, Exe 1 (SOHC win 3-2 on penalty flicks).

Sidmouth and Ottery Ladies claimed a dramatic penalty flick shoot-out success to book a berth in the Devon Cup final after a seriously close encounter with Exe, writes Maisie Pritchard

After a weeks rest the SOHC ladies first team were keen to get back to their winning ways.

Despite the difference in leagues’ between SOHC and the home coach had cautioned his charges of the need to not let nerves get the better of them and to attempt to play their natural game in this County cup semi-final tie.

After a lengthy warm-up the match began with some strong runs by both teams.

However, SOHC struck first, deserved reward for their early endeavour with Jodie Parsons finding the back of the Exe net.

This was followed by a series of intense play with both teams defences under huge pressure!

Exe, playing an attacking game similar to the home side, levelled before the break with a clinical finish and half-time arrived with the score 1-1.

The second half continued with a similar high tempo approach from both teams.

Nicky Bishop, Ellie Marok and Lucy Broad all made strong runs up the pitch keeping the Exe defenders on their toes. With an Exe player receiving a green card for not backing away from a SOHC free hit, just minutes from the end of the game Lea Pidgeon was unlucky to receive a yellow card for the same offence. A player short for the last ten minutes SOHC dug deep to reach full-time still on level terms.

After a long deliberation between the umpires as to whether Pidgeon was allowed to participate in the penalty flicks that would decide the winners, it was decided that SOHC would have to continue without her.

Five players stepped up to the mark with Maisie Pritchard and then Ellie Marok both finding the backboard. Exe also tucked away two and this led the tie into a sudden-death shoot-out!

Sara Roberts stepped up and calmly put the ball past the goalie.

Now the focus switched to the Exe taker, but her well hit shot was superbly saved by the Hayley Delasalle who was promptly leapt upon by jubilant team mates and the large gathering of SOHC supporters joined in the joyous celebrations.

Unsurprisingly that all-important save in the penalty shoot-out earned Delasalle the award of ‘Chick of the Day’.

Now the team can return to their league programme warmed by the thought of an appearance in the Devon County final in April.

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