Portsmouth women maintain 100 per cent start to Hampshire Hockey League season

Portsmouth women's 2nds. Back (from left) Callie Moore, Carol Rutter, Lucy Dunning, Sam Hassall, Beatrice Gall, Hayley Chivers, Nicky Puckett, Kezia Winters. Front: Ali Thomas, Emma Japes, Kirsty Harley, Sarah Stewart, Hayley Armstrong.
Portsmouth women's 2nds. Back (from left) Callie Moore, Carol Rutter, Lucy Dunning, Sam Hassall, Beatrice Gall, Hayley Chivers, Nicky Puckett, Kezia Winters. Front: Ali Thomas, Emma Japes, Kirsty Harley, Sarah Stewart, Hayley Armstrong.
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Portsmouth women’s 1sts romped to a 4-0 Hampshire League victory at Bournemouth 2nds to maintain their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season.

In dismal weather conditions, the hosts started strongly and forced a string of short corners.

But gradually Portsmouth asserted themselves and a slick routine involving Nadz Moore and Zoe Wimshurst created an opening for Jenny Turvey-Warnes to break the deadlock. 

The lead was doubled soon after as Sam Ward picked the pocket of one of the defenders to break forward and drive for goal. A great lead run from Katie Paulson-Pond opened up more space and, pulling the ball on to her reverse side to deceive the keeper, Ward lashed home. 

Skipper Emily Butcher increased the lead in the second half - driving along the baseline to drawing the keeper before calmly scoring from an acute angle. 

With 10 minutes left, Sofia Gomez capitalised on confusion in the home defence to sweep home a loose ball with her reverse stick.

Nicky Puckett struck twice in the first half as Portsmouth 2nds won 5-4 at Southampton University.

The visitors led 3-0 at one stage - Carol Rutter also scoring - before Southampton reduced the arrears before half-time.

The hosts struck first in the second period before Callie Moore scored from close range to make it 4-2.

Portsmouth conceded again before player of the match Beatrice Hall showed good skill in picking the ball out of the air and cheekily tapping in to restore the two-goal lead.

Southampton refused to lay down, though, and set up a tense finale with their fourth goal. 

Portsmouth 3rds suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 4-0 to Fleet & Ewshot 2nds, while the 4ths were caned 7-1 at Alton.

Four goals down at half-time, great passing between Nicky Roch and Jemma Gard allowed Michelle Hughes to grab a consolation.

Player of the match went to Sam Pratt for some fabulous defending.

The 5ths didn’t fare much better, losing 4-0 to Fleet & Ewshot 4ths.