Pendle ​Forest veterans are national champions

​Pendle Forest are the national Over-35s Masters champions after they defeated Old Georgians 6-3 at the Lee Valley Olympic Stadium in London.

From the off, Forest dominated the press taking the game to the Old Georgians and with only five minutes on the clock a pass from midfield to Charlotte Hartley saw the Commonwealth medal winner drive to the Dee, reverse stick strike and beat the keeper for pace and quality.

It was soon 2-0 when Hartley received the ball from Wignall at the top of the D, dragged the keeper right and slipped the ball left for her second.

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Hartley was again involved in Forest’s third goal, slipping right to Wignall for a tap-in.

Pendle Forest celebrate their success (photos: Ian Bythell)Pendle Forest celebrate their success (photos: Ian Bythell)
Pendle Forest celebrate their success (photos: Ian Bythell)

After a sustained period of play in the tropical, balmy heat of the South, the Georgians first attack into the Pendle D saw Kirkpatrick put her crossword down, dive to her right and deflect the ball onto the attackers foot.

The whistle went and Forest started for a hit out only to be dismayed the umpires had not seen it and awarded a penalty corner.

A well drilled set saw the OG's get a goal back and soon after it was 3-2 as Fiona Head was unable to keep the ball out from a deflection on the right post.

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Taking heed of half-time instructions, Crewe led by example and a through ball to Hartley resulted in her hat-trick goal minutes from the whistle.

Pendle Forest in action against Old GeorgiansPendle Forest in action against Old Georgians
Pendle Forest in action against Old Georgians

OG's received another penalty corner to convert to make it 4-3.Not disheartened and sticking to their style of play, Forest attacked. Sally Evans in midfield played the ball to Hartley, who slipped to Catherine Kilgallon who went one on one with the keeper.In what can only be described as the most selfless act of the match, Kilgallon taped the ball left to an advancing Hartley who slotted into an empty net.

Feeling the match was theirs with a two-goal advantage and five minutes remaining, Hartley pushed the ball to Steph Bedford on the left wing.

Bedford drove into the D and shaped to pass the ball to Wignall. She drew the defender, created the opening for Bedford who fired past a wrong footed keeper.

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As the whistle went for full time the roars from players and spectators alike reflected the passion and commitment of all involved at Pendle Forest Hockey Club and how much the achievement in this tournament means.

Pendle Forest on the attackPendle Forest on the attack
Pendle Forest on the attack
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