Gowerton vs Brecon. Oct 17. – Captain’s Report

 Lots of change is afoot at Gowerton Ladies Hockey Club.  A new coach, lots of new players and a development team in the works.  What an exciting season this is going to be!

After some solid, well-structured training sessions the ladies were confident to go out on the pitch and bring their ‘A game’.  The first half the ladies started off strong, working as a team and demonstrating simple 1-2 passes. However, it all became a bit manic and frantic. This didn’t put the ladies off and despite it all they managed to hold it all together and put Brecon under pressure and fight for a win.

As play continued it wasn’t long before Nicola Tucker secured the first goal of the game from open play, delighted with this the ladies were fired up and hungry for more.  Play continued and remained strong, with the ladies using each other for support and creating space on the pitch, using it to their full advantage. Side line balls and free hits were thought through, utilising the switch making Brecon do the work. However, Brecon managed to ease their way into their attacking D and gain a short corner. After scrambling for the ball Brecon were able to secure themselves an equalising goal. The ladies took this on the chin and came back fighting.

 

It wasn’t long before the ladies were back down in Brecon’s D fighting for another goal. A solid cross in from the side enabled Imogen Davies to sweep the ball into the back of the net, taking the score to 2-1. But the ladies didn’t stop there, after being granted another short corner Hannah Preuss hits the ball left of goal to Jessica Williams, who secured the 3rd goal. Half time whistle blows with the ladies having the leading score of 3-1.

 

After a productive half time talk from our new coach, Sian Fowler, the ladies were refreshed, calm and ready to hold onto the win. The second half was a lot calmer and structured than the first. The ladies used each other and made full use of the space on the pitch. Having players available up high, wide and back enabled the ladies to feed the ball out wide, switch back when needed and pass the ball down the wing up to the forwards.

Gowerton Hockey Team Talk
Coach gives the GLHC a half time talk.

With Nicola Tucker making sure she was being nuisance to the opposition keeper, the ladies were able to secure a 4th goal. Nicola Tucker received the ball right at the goalie’s feet putting her under pressure, this enabled Lara Acott to get herself into position on the P spot to strike the ball into the back of the goal. The ladies were way ahead now but never let the pressure drop. As play continued the ladies continued to attack which enabled Jessica Williams to get the 5th goal from across goal. The sweet sound of the full-time whistle blew and the ladies walked away with an astonishing 5-1 win.
 

This week’s captain’s player could have gone to any of the ladies as they all worked constructively as a team, supporting each other and showing some epic team work. However, I would like to give my captain’s player to a player who is so calm in the way that she plays but at the same time still has that drive and fire in her belly to want to win. During the game her pickup was smooth and her tackling was strong. For these reasons I would like to give my captain’s player to Hazel Posso. Well done.

 

Final score 

Gowerton 5-1 Brecon

 

 

 

 

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Gowerton vs Swansea 3rd – Captain’s Report

A good win for the ladies this week.

Swansea won the toss, which saw them take the first push back. Despite Swansea having the advantage it wasn’t long before the ladies dominated the game. Putting pressure on Swansea and securing strong tackles meant that the ladies could press forward putting pressure on the Swansea defence. After multiple attempts from Jessica Williams and Lilly Jones, the ladies were struggling to secure the first goal. This struggle wasn’t because of the incapability of scoring but as a result of Swansea flooding the D. 

Despite this the ladies were still determined to score. Constructive team work from the midfield, feeding the ball up to the forwards meant that the majority of the first half play was with the ladies attacking half. On the rare occasion, where Swansea would secure themselves a break, Gowerton defence were hot on their tails and eliminating their chances. 

As play continued, during the first half, the ladies were still unsuccessful in securing themselves a goal, keeping the half time score at 0-0.

With a constructive half time talk the ladies were ready and determined to get a goal and take the win. It was the ladies restart, which instantly put them as the more dominant team. The ladies continued to play their high standard hockey, which demonstrated fantastic pair work, switching and feeding the ball down the line. This determination and collaboration paid off as Jessica Williams secured the first goal. Spirts were high and the ladies knew they had this but still needed to work for it. 

After the restart Swansea continued to press soon to be shut down but Gowerton defence. We were off again feeding the ball through midfield up to the forwards, enabled the ladies to put pressure on the Swansea keeper resulting in Jessica Williams securing the second goal. As the play continued Swansea managed to gain more time within their attacking half which resulted in them pressing and securing a short corner. But Gowerton defence was too strong, and the ball was cleared. It was long after the threat did Jessica Williams change the score board making it 3-0.

Play continued and the ladies continued to work hard and solidly as a team. Outstanding team work in the D from Jessica Williams and Nicola Tucker, saw Nicola secure an awesome diving final goal for the ladies. 

I would just like to say how outstanding Swansea’s young Goal keeper was despite the multiple shots against her during the whole duration of the game she managed to hold most of them off, only allowing the ladies to secure 4. A keeper with a bright hockey future ahead of her.

This week’s captain’s player cannot just go to a single player as there were 3 players who stood out above the rest. Two of which were outfield players, whose confidence has grown and are really starting to shine within the team, they fought a hard game and put pressure on their opponents. Their positioning have improved massively and really made a difference on the pitch. The other Captain’s player goes to the our goalie, at the age of 14 stepping into goal for the first time to play in a ladies league, didn’t seem to faze her. The opportunities she had to save potential goals, were awesome she kept her composure and oozed confidence. For these reasons my captain’s players are Lilly Murphy, Lilly Jones and Sally Hopkins. Well done girls keep progressing and you will go far.
 

Final score Gowerton 4-0 Swansea 3rd

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Pembroke vs Gowerton – Captain’s Report

Unfortunate loss for the ladies this weekend, but the score doesn’t reflect the standard of play from the ladies throughout the whole match.

The first half started off really well the ladies were able to hold Pembroke off and picked up the key players early giving us the advantage. The standard of play was high, the game was fast and the pitch was bouncy! Making this a different game to the one we are used to.

Pembroke attacked hard and were able to get into our defending D early into the game but our outstanding defensive play managed to hold them off. As the ladies settled into the standard of play, they began to push forward. Clearing out wide and running it wide meant they were able to get the ball up to the forwards. However, despite showing excellent team work and passing ability, Pembroke were hot on our tails and strong in their defensive play. Flooding the area made it difficult for our forwards to secure a goal. Despite Pembroke’s effort and because of the collaborative work of our ladies, they were unable to secure themselves a goal within the first half.

A constructive half time talk prepared the ladies to go back out fighting for the win. Tactical play and strategies were in place, they were ready to go. The second half’s standard of play was pretty similar to the first, the ladies were pushing the ball wide, defending hard and work collaboratively. This half showed more play within our attacking half. Opportunities came for the ladies to secure themselves goals from short corners and penalties from just outside the D but despite a variety of plays and opportunities, the ladies didn’t get to hear the clatter of the backboard.

It wasn’t long before the ladies were under threat of the Pembroke forwards. A penalty in the D saw Pembroke secure themselves a short corner. A well-structured short corner was made it nearly impossible to save the great goal. Pembroke were 0-1 up.

Despite being a little dis-heartened the ladies still continued to work hard and try and hold Pembroke off, but it wasn’t long before Pembroke were back in the ladies defending D and securing themselves a fantastic second goal from the reverse stick. Both goals were superb and we can’t take that from them.

As play continued the ladies, in true Gowerton style, continued to keep the spirits high and fought for a goal but were sadly unsuccessful. The final whistle went; Pembroke took the win and guaranteed their promotion to the premiership. Congratulations Pembroke!

My captain’s player goes to a player who, like everyone else on the team, worked their socks off. However, they put everything into their tackles and attacking play, taking a battering from some questionable standard of play from Pembroke. This player oozes confidence when on the ball and skilfully drives the ball forward, gaining yards as they go. For these reasons my captain’s player this week is Victoria Vaughan. Well done.

Final score Gowerton 0-2 Pembroke.

Gowerton v Aberystwyth Uni – Captains Report 

Wow! The atmosphere for this game was phenomenal.

The guts and determination to win started off in the changing room. Taking on Victoria Vaughan cheerleading experiences the ladies chanted “be aggressive B…. E…. aggressive”, deep down I think this actually worked, as it lifted the spirits of the girls which transferred onto the pitch.

The ladies started off with their usual fight and gave Aberystwyth what for. Putting pressure on them from our starting push back gave them a massive advantage in play. Yes Aber had some good players but the ladies took no mercy and eliminated these players from the start. It was obvious that they didn’t like this and reverted to become the defensive team while the ladies pushed the attack.

After some awesome team work, positive communication and outstanding collaboration from all. It wasn’t long before Nicola tucker secured the first goal. A roar of pride filled the pitch as we went 1-0 up. The usual restart chant of “nil – nil ladies” echoed across the pitch. The ladies went back out with a punch. Eliminating most of Abers attacking play kept us on the front foot for most of the first half. The standard of play and collaboration between the ladies didn’t drop. We were on fire! As play continued it was time to make a change to that score board. Our second goal came from Nicola Tucker in open play taking us 2-0 up. The half time whistle went and I think all the ladies were pleased to have a well-deserved break.

After a well praised half time talk, the ladies were ready to take on Aber again. They knew Aber were going to come out fighting and were ready for it. Taking full advantage of our subs meant that the level of fitness maintained on the pitch, which had a positive effect on the standard of play. The ladies were not ready to give up the fight. Despite their efforts Aber were only able to secure themselves an unsuccessful shot at goal throughout the whole second half. Sorry Amy not much play for you this week.

It wasn’t long before we were treading on Abers toes and in there defending circle. A foul in the D meant we were able to secure a short corner, after having opportunities previously in the match to play around with our short corners we decided to scarp on that and just go for straight strike. A solid injection from Jessica Williams, seen a good strike on goal from top of the D which was then secured by Ria Cannon with a tap on the line. The ladies were 3-0 and ecstatic about it. I’m sorry Aber you may have beat us on your own turf but we were claiming this clean sheet victory.

There were a few players who were potential candidates for captain’s player this week as their graft on the pitch was awesome. Lauren Humphries held strong in defence and track down any open play from Aber forwards eliminating the potential for attack. She also helped keep the ball out of danger through clearing the ball wide (that girl loves a side line). Nicola Tucker was able to put Aber under pressure with good movement up front, which resulted in her securing the first two goals.

However this week I would like to give my captain’s player to a player who had developed so much over the reason and was evident in the way in which she played. She used awesome skill to dodge the Aber players, accurate passing to her team mates and guts and drive in tackles. For these reasons I would like to give my captain’s player to Kellie Melbourne. Well done!

Final score Gowerton 3 – 0 Aberystwyth Uni 1st

Radnor vs Gowerton – Captain’ Report

Another phenomenal win for the ladies again this week. Bare 11 and we smashed it.
 
We knew it was going to be a tough game physically as we were down to the bare 11, meaning no fresh legs or rests on the side line. However, our determination didn’t waiver to win and it was evident as we came out fighting. From the starting whistle the ladies put Radnor under pressure which soon resulted in a short corner being awarded and a slip to Lauren Humphreys secured us our first goal. A cheer erupted around the pitch, we had actually scored off a short corner and it had been a long time coming. Our spirits were boosted but we continued to play strong with the 0-0 attitude.

Within minutes we were back in our attacking D a strike from Jayde Piontecki, saw the goal keeper stop the ball dead on the line. However, a cheeky jab from Nicola tucker edged the ball over the line securing us our second goal. Play continued to remain strong, all the ladies had bonded and smooth sleek moments of play were displayed continuously in the first half. And not long before the half time whistle, Jayde Piontecki made her return to the club (3 weeks after having baby Sia) a good one by securing the 3rd goal.

 
A well-deserved rested half time enabled the ladies to recharge their batteries and go smash the second half. It was at this point that we could have really done with some subs. The freaky warm weather didn’t help the situation and I’m pretty sure Ria cannon got sun burnt :p.

The second half was pretty much identical to the first. The ladies smashed it once again, despite being tired they did not give up the fight. Radnor began to run out hard but we still managed to hold them off. Amazing defensive work and awesome saves from Amy enabled this. It wasn’t long again before our amazing forwards were outing the Radnor keeper under pressure again, which resulted in Jayde securing the 4th goal of the match, this girl is on fire! After having a baby, she comes back and smashes it.

As play continued Radnor were able to come back and score their one and only goal of the match, despite Amy being a little disheartened not having a clean sheet the ladies weren’t too concerned as we knew that we could get another one back. And that we did, not just the one but two. Our 5th goal come from Nicola Tucker and out final/6th goal from Ria Cannon.
 
It was again very hard this week to choose a captain’ player as everyone gave it their all. However, I would like to give my captain’s player to a player that potentially doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. She is always our last bit of hope on the pitch and over the last couple of games, including this one has made some awesome saves, despite the pressure she it put under. For this reason I would like to give my captains player to Amy Hansen. Well done hun. 

Final score Gowerton 6-1 Radnor. 

Gowerton v Whitchurch Saints 3rds – Captain’s Report

Brilliant win for the ladies this week, nothing but epic play displayed through the whole 70 minutes.

Braving the bitter cold and the welsh weather’s attempt of snow; the ladies were warm and fit to play. Having won the toss it was our first push back and the ladies started as they meant to go on. Not having key players, meant a few girls were out of position but this didn’t faze them. Each lady gave it their all and worked effectively as a team putting Saints 3rds under pressure. 

After a good period of open play the ladies deserving secured their first goal. A solid pass to Jessica Williams in the D enabled Jess to give us all the graceful sound of the back board. Despite the goal the ladies didn’t get complacent and continued the fight for the win with our standard 0-0 attitude. Solid passing, one two passing and switching throughout the first half enabled the ladies to keep this pressure on Saints and enabled Jessica Williams to secure another 2 goals from open play.

After a quick half time turn around the ladies were ready to bring it again. And bring it they did! With the advantage of the score difference it encouraged the ladies to be brave enough and trial new things during both open play and short corners and it paid off. With a slip to Paige Hobbs, on a short corner, it enabled her to feed the ball into the D causing Ria Cannon to secure the 4th goal. The ‘can’t score Cannon’ curse was over. With the awesome goal difference the ladies confidently relaxed into the flow of the game and continued to work solidly as a team and demonstrated some slick hockey. Saints had a break which enabled them to skilfully dribble the ball into the D and secure their only goal. This goal didn’t faze the ladies and Jessica Williams secured the 5th and final goal from open play.

For my captain’s player, there was one player who massively stood out to me and I think a few of the girls too. This player gave her all and fought her hardest in every tackle. Her confidence is growing massively which is having a massive positive impact on her game; she was even at one point on the goal line fighting for a goal. Whenever this player goes into a tackle I am 100% confident she will come out with the ball as she doesn’t give up. My captain’s player this week is Rhiannon Simms. You are totally epic babes well done. 

Final score Gowerton 5 -1 Saints 3rds  

Gowerton V Dinefwr – Captain’s Report

 

Well what can I say about this game?!

The first half of this match was intense and Dinefwr came out strong putting us under pressure, but we were determined we weren’t going to take it lying down.

However we gave as good as we got though but unfortunately despite our efforts and hard work, e went 0-1 down as Dinefwr took advantage of a Gowerton mistake, which left a player free and open in the D.

Wasn’t the best first quarter but I suppose we can’t be perfect all the time hey ladies! This result didn’t reflect how we continued to play in the first half.  Despite efforts on both parts, neither Dinefwr or Gowerton were able to secure a goal in the second quarter.

After a very constructive and empowered half time talk, from all the ladies we were ready to nail the second half. And that we did!

Dinefwr hardly had a look in, we fought till the end. Set plays, passing and positive communication between the girls were all nailed. The ladies bounded together and worked solidly as a team. Despite a few flared tempers over decisions made the ladies remained united. The majority of the play was in our attacking half, with occasional breaks from one key Dinefwr player. Defence weren’t having that and crushed Dinefwr attempts by feeding the ball through to midfield and up to the forwards.

Though the girls worked tirelessly, with open play and short corners, we were unable to secure a goal. Full time whistle blew, on paper we lost but deep down all the ladies knew that we smashed it!

I may sound biased, but the score definitely didn’t reflect on how we played! After the game the ladies were all on a high, for many different reasons #nocomment! I couldn’t have been prouder of the girls I was on Saturday. This is why I love my team, they don’t take things lightly! Uppagower till the end.

This week captain’s player could have gone to any one of the girls they all gave blood sweat and tears to their efforts in the game. However, one player particularly stood out for me as she gave everything in this game and ensured Dinefwr were not getting passed her without a fight. Her drive and her tackling were on point and she just gave her all to every aspect of the game. And for that reason I would like to give my captain’s player to Rhiannon Simms. Well done! 

Final score Gowerton 0-1 Dinefwr

 


Here are some photos of the match taken by Taylor…

 

 

 

Penarth 2nds v Gowerton

Gowerton v Penarth 1 – 3 Last Saturday saw us travel to Penarth without our strikers and it was tough. The first half saw us a bit panicky, we didn’t have a formation and were just not marking our players. Penarth’s first goal came from straight in front of the goal, they were bound to score, Amy couldn’t have done anymore. It wasn’t a great goal, but a goal none the less. 

I don’t know what was wrong with us. Moral was dipping and we were becoming more and more quiet. Normally we would come back fighting but we continued to struggle with ‘upping the ante. Penarth broke and were in our D again, a cross was placed was from out wide and I swear that I thought I could leave the ball as my player wouldn’t get to it, wrong! She got her stick on it, and it was 2-0 to Penarth. Some dodgy decisions and another goal saw the first half finish 3-0 to Penarth. 

Half time talk; it was the usual talk, where everybody wants to put their 50pence in. We didn’t have long as it was a quick turn around (apparently the neighbours aren’t best pleased if the gates aren’t locked by 5pm, what a luxury to have your pitch secure. Note to self- I must ask Penarth how that feels!). Normally I don’t condone negative team talks but on this occasion, we couldn’t fathom up anything positive but we definitely knew what we were doing wrong and what we had to do to try and pull this back. 

This team talk worked! Second half saw us gain our structure and our standard GLHC pitch dominance. We were back! No player was left unmarked, and no ball was left not tackled. We were switching the ball through the back and using the ‘one, two’ balls that we do best. We were in their D and fighting! We had a strike at their goal and it was stopped by one their players on the line…

PENALTY STROKE!!!! 

This is where my vice captaincy came into play. I could hear our beloved Captain shouting for poor Alison to take the Penalty. I wasn’t having that, so I spoke up ‘Oh captain, take it yourself!!!’ I had every ounce of confidence in her (I think). Up she went. Captain Sanders v Penarth Goalie, one on one.

Whistle…   

Goal!

Text book penalty!! Nice one captain. 

We carried on playing with our heads high, hoping that we could get some more goals but we just could not finish. We won the second half but lost the game overall. Another honest fight by Gowerton Ladies and all of you who played should be proud of yourselves. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our captain Rachel Sanders for all the work that she does for us. On Saturday she played up front, despite not being comfortable up there and took one for the team when taking the penalty. For that reason I would like to give my vice captains player to our captain Rachel Sanders. 

Final score – Gowerton 1 – 3 Penarth. 


Congratulations to our former coach Jayde on the birth of her daughter Sia Rose Kilby Parkin! Hurry up back on the pitch please!!


Katie Young

Vice-Captain


Gowerton vs Brecon – Captains Report

Good start to the second half of the season from the ladies this week. Everything the girls did, they did right!

From the starting whistle the ladies were the more dominant team and drove Brecon to become more defensive. The level of play the ladies demonstrated throughout the whole half was phenomenal. Simple 1 -2 passes and triangle passing enabled the ladies to remain within their attacking half for the majority of play. The ladies’ decision making was also beneficial, rolling the ball out to defence who were then able to switch the ball out of danger. With the ladies becoming the more dominate team Brecon become very defensive and in this they flooded the D making it hard for the ladies to get the ball in the back of the goal. However, this didn’t faze Jessica Williams or Nicola tucker as they persistently put both the defence and keeper under pressure.

As the half went on Brecon started to make breaks and put our defence and Amy (keeper) under pressure. However through solid marking and confident switching the ladies were able to get the ball out of danger, through to the midfield and up into the forwards. Just before half time this continued hard work paid off, a solid pass into the D from Ria Cannon meant Nicola Tucker was able to switch the ball across the D which she then slammed into the back of the goal. The ladies erupted with cheer as we went 1-0 up.

After a positive half time talk the ladies were ready to take on Brecon for the second half. It was our push back and ladies dominated once again. Outstanding communication throughout the game had a positive effect on the play with everyone worked in sync and phases of play linked and worked smoothly. With the standard of play mirroring the first half, the ladies were able to maintain the pressure on Brecon and this was evident as their frustration started to show.

As play went on the same trio were able to continue their outstanding team work and secure Gowerton their second goal. Ria Cannon passed the ball into Nicola Tucker across to Jessica Williams and we heard the delightful sound of the ball hitting the backboard confirming a goal.

Spirits were high and the ladies begun to relax more into the game. As play continued Brecon worked their way into the D and were fortunate to secure themselves their only goal. This didn’t dishearten the ladies and they kept the pressure on Brecon, but unfortunately the ladies were unable to secure themselves a 3rd goal though they were happy with the win.

From all the girls working effectively as a team and giving the game their all, it was hard for me to segregate the girls as potential candidates for captain’s player. However, there was one particular player who stood out to not only to myself but a few of the other girls. This player’s standard of play was high throughout the whole game, with her communication having a positive effect on the team and the game. She was committed to every tackle and did not give up the fight until she won the ball. Her tackles were exceptional and she made it look effortless. So my captain’s player this week is Nia Morgans. Well done!

Final score Gowerton 2 – 1 Brecon

 

 

 

 

Gowerton v Aberystwyth University -Captain’s Report

Blood, Sweat and Tears. Literally.
Gowerton travelled to Aberystwyth University on 19/11/2016 and played what I can only describe as the gutsiest game of the season thus far!

The pre match warm up, saw the girls get the fire in their bellies for the game that was ahead. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we were determined to kick off the game with a strong start and mentally dominate the game.

The whistle blew and we went out fighting straight away; it took us 10 minutes to settle and to adjust to having players playing out of position in the centre of the field. Then, we clicked and communication was outstanding; the girls were calling their players and we were reading the play really well. Aberystwyth had 2 key players who broke down through the middle of the field, Lauren Humphries had the task of ‘taking out the dutch’ and boy did she do this! Gowerton were unlucky in the first half, which saw us concede a goal. The goal came off a foot from Aberystwyth but was allowed by the umpires. Gowerton did not let this affect their spirits.

Half time talk and there was not an inch of negativity in sight. I could not say anything other than good words to my girls. We were to go back out there fighting.

Half time whistle went. Out the girls went again, fighting for every single ball. Victoria Vaughan and Ria Cannon fought like animals in the mid field, we used the substitutions frequently in order to keep fresh legs in the mid field. Gowerton were switching the ball across the field out to Ffion Morgans, Paige Hobbs, Kellie Melbourne and Rhiannon Simms. After the half time talk the wide mild fielder players used the width to our advantage (Ffion is no longer a defender!). Gowerton pressed on every single free hit that Aberystwyth had, limiting their chances of breaking. Our play seemed to be improving and we were forcing Aberystwyth to make errors.

Midfield sent a ball through to striker Jessica Williams, which saw her receive it on top of the D, she quickly switched it out to Nicola Tucker on the right, which was then directed straight back into Williams in the D, everything went into that goal. The pitch erupted; we were back in the game. (I had a lump in my throat at this point). Text book hockey right there!

Gowerton continued to fight for absolutely everything, no player was left unmarked and no ball was left un-tackled. From the back, I could see how much the girls wanted this. Aberystwyth were strong on the attack, using their key Dutch players to break through, but Amy Hansen was on fire. She was bouncing goals away from her goal, chest saves, the lot! The defensive line; Hannah Preuss and Alison Jones were clearing the balls to the mid field and Rhiannon Simms was like lightening when defending the short corners. DE-FENCE!

Gowerton were unlucky in the second half and we conceded a second goal from Aberystwyth. My girl’s heads dipped for a split second but they went straight back out there and continued the fight against Aberystwyth.

Final whistle and Gowerton had not been able to secure another goal; final score was Aberystwyth 2- Gowerton 1.

Gowerton gathered in the centre of the field. For the first time ever in my hockey life, I was proud despite losing. I could not have asked for anything more from my girls on the pitch during this game. I know how much it meant to everyone and there was not one thing that we could have done more. There were tears, hugs, pile ons and a car crash. We lost but we smashed it!

Gowerton ladies hockey club, I am so proud of you, and to have captained you for this game will stay with me forever.

In light of this, I cannot pick a captain’s player for this game as you all deserve recognition. Thank you.

GLHC for life!

 

 Gowerton v Aberystwyth University – 0-1

Katie Young

Vice-Captain