Fixture: Team Bath Buccaneers v Exe
Date: Saturday 24 March 2012
Score: TBB 4-1 Exe
Venue: University of Bath Sports Training Village
A very large crowd of well over 200 supporters turned out for the final league fixture of the season and saw both sides fighting to avoid straight relegation.
Both sides started well with Team Bath taking greater control of the early exchanges. Good early pressure resulted in chances to both sides but with Buccs pushing higher up the pitch were caught by a long ball out of the Exe defence.
Linda Webb broke away to eventually be stopped at the expense of a penalty corner. Despite defending the first shot Buccs were unable to defend the rebound quickly enough and Webb fired in from outside the right post.
It took time for Buccs to pick up their game and some excellent play by Zoe Shipperley out of defence saw several good breaks from Jess Cremin, Dani Black and Lucy McNaught go unrewarded.
On a hot day Buccs maintained their work rate and a minute before half time had a breakaway down the left with a hard hit cross being deftly converted by Josie Rixon.
With the score 1-1 all at half time it gave Buccs time to regroup and push forward. A series of attacks resulted in a penalty corner where A superb pass from top D by Shipperley found Black who deflected an unstoppable ball high into the roof of the net.
Exe briefly pushed to try and get back into the game but good defensive work and some tighter marking by Laura Gummer, Janet Gubbins and Pippa Barnes reduced the opportunity for Exe to counter attack. This allowed pressure higher up the pitch from which they won a penalty corner which was converted by Rachel Jackson with a hard hit shot from top D.
Having put the game beyond Exe, Buccs kept up the pressure with Hattie Lloyd following up a penalty corner strike by Shipperley to make the final score 4-1.
Exe take the drop back into the West League but Buccaneers now face the teams that also finished ninth in the North and East Conferences, with one team retaining their EHL status for 2012/13.
They are away to Horsham on Sunday 15 April and home to Springfields (Lancs) on Saturday 21 April at 14.00.