South West Womens Tournament 1 Season 17/18

 

South West Womens League

Tournament 1

Westonbirt School

Final Placing 7th (Provisional)

PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK

 

Bath's Squad

 

The South West Womens league is growing fast, this year there are 17 teams registered to play, and that’s with a couple dropping out from last year, notably Bath Ladies. For T1 at Westonbirt 9 teams were on show, including last year’s champions Bristol and Runners-up South Coast Seagulls (a team with a roster from Bournemouth and Southampton)

Bath’s team is traditionally dominated by students, and at this early stage in the season, recruitment of freshers is embryonic. That said of the 13 players that came out on the field 8 were not Bath Uni Students. One factor that might be helping the club recruit is the addition of a ladies’ tournament at the Bath Eights, a great way to get the word out.

Captain Irene Moynihan now has a reasonably stable squad to choose from, the Bath University students, recruited last year are now very competent players and feel part of the club as a whole; this can only aid in helping the new crop of freshers this year.

 

 

Moynihan had two big headaches coming in to this campaign – her own fitness, due to a leg injury that just won’t go away, and the lack of a goal keeper. By putting herself in goal, it solved both problems, but was always going to be a risk, Goal Keeping is a specialist slot and not for everyone. Luckily for the club Irene has taken to this task like a duck to water, working in the summer with Men’s captain Luke Wilmot, Bath LC Women now have an excellent keeper, that has a huge amount of potential. Looking at this tournament it would be hard to spot that Moynihan had only one full game under her belt prior to stepping out on the turf in Westonbirt

 

 

Moynihan saves

 

There wasn’t a game where Bath didn’t compete, and as the day wore on the team started to gain an understanding of each other’s strengths. The new players signed up this year are going to make a real impact on the club, Tania Coxon at Midfield has speed and power, with a good finish in front of goal, Sarah Bibby, not only plays, quote “anywhere you want me” but is a willing Umpire, working tirelessly through the day. 16 yr old Izzy Dudley has bags of energy and is tenacious on the ground ball.

Tania Coxon

Aside from the new players Bath had a couple of returners to the fold, back from a year away playing for Oxford, Carolyn Keber proved to be invaluable when settling the attack and finishing some good move with a well-placed shot, and Ellie Almond at midfield with bags of energy, still learning and improving.

At the draw Tora Joicey returns to her second year at Bath Spa Uni and looks a real handful, with pace to spare.

 

Tora Joicey at draw

 

Returning Students are a real bonus to the club, and all are improving almost by the hour, Bath Storey looks fast in defence, with some great interceptions, Both Abi Chell and Izzy James look comfortable in defence, marking well and coming up with the ground ball under a lot of pressure. At midfield Brit Miller looks faster than ever, covering a of of ground and Carman Larrea-Ochoa crowned a great performance with her first ever goal for the club, no prizes for guessing the biggest smile of the day.

Bath started well, scoring the opening goal against Plymouth, and although a bit rusty the team looked as if they were in charge, however, some good goal keeping by Plymouth where Bath should have extended their lead, meant the Students stayed in contact, equalising and scoring the winner with seconds on the clock.

Against Bristol, last year’s champions Bath competed well, and although the official score card shows a 6:0 loss, the girls are pretty sure they scored one.

Seagulls 1st team were another big ask for the team and Bath went in fighting for everything, although losing the South coast outfit knew they had been in a game losing 5:1 but improving with each play. The game against Bristol University was a much more even affair, with neither team managing to really dominate Bath had the lead twice only to see the students come back, scoring the equaliser to make it 4:4 in the dying seconds of the game.

Bath played Cheltenham in a pre-season warm up, but had to borrow a couple of players on the day as it was early for student returners, Cheltenham were resounding winners on that day, however this is a far different Bath team and Cheltenham didn’t have it all their own way, although losing 4:0, the improvement from pre-season was there to see

Seagulls 2nds became an interesting game, high scoring and Bath came off the field thinking they had won, but the score turned out to be 5:4 in the Seagulls favour, end to end stuff, some great saves from Moynihan and some even better out passes to the midfielder Tania Coxon who cause the defence all sorts of problems and linked well with Brit Miller and Carolyn Keber.

 

Izzy Dudley goaes for the ground ball

 

Bath’s game against Falmouth was the first time the Ladies in red looked dominant, and with that dominance came confidence, passes began to flow and with possession came goals, Falmouth didn’t take it lying down though and scored a couple of goals, exposing Bath’s Achilles heel in defence, Bath struggled all day against fast direct runners at the goal, the game finished 5:2 in Bath’s favour.

 

This confidence was taken into the Birmingham Game and Bath again dominated looking dangerous in every attack, scoring 6 goals, Baths highest ever tally in a tournament, letting in only 1 in reply.

Overall this was a real step forward for Bath’s Women, Last season they finished 5th in a smaller league, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be that high up again. There are one or two players unavailable this Tournament that will greatly enhance the squad, plus new fresher students to boost numbers.

The future looks bright

 

 

 

Game scores

Bath 1:2 Plymouth University

Bath 0:6 Bristol Bombers

Bath 1:5 Seagulls 1

Bath 4:4 Bristol University

Bath 0:4 Cheltenham Cougars

Bath 4:5 Seagulls 2

Bath 5:2 Falmouth University

Bath 6:2 Birmingham

 

Umpires

Nik Roberts

Sarah Bibby