Weymouth ladies 1st XI looked to make a positive start to their second season in West Premier Division 2B, with a match at home against a challenging opposition who had caused them headaches the previous year.
Visitors Teign made a determined start while the home side struggled to settle, and made best their advantage taking two early goals; the first an unfortunate deflection by a hapless defender, the second a well-timed ricochet from the stick of an unmarked attacker lurking close to the outside goal post.
The Seasiders managed to maintain their composure and get better organised, giving the opposition less time and beginning to generate a little pressure themselves. Effective passing between Lynda Drewitt and Emily Austin left the Teign goal mouth exposed, with Austin able to fire in a shot that crossed the line after a deflection from a defender. As the half time whistle blew, the score was 1 – 2.
Weymouth were again a little slow to start, and conceded a third goal after about a minute of play, with Teign managing to convert after goalkeeper Megan Eadon-Turner had cleared a first shot. That shock, coupled with some strong encouragement from the sidelines, saw the home side regain their focus and determination. A second goal for the Seasiders came from a penalty corner, with captain Wendy Butcher’s strong smack from the top of the circle being swept into a corner by newcomer Becca Duffield.
The last few minutes of the game saw sustained pressure from a Weymouth side that has been working to increase its endurance, with the visitors clearly tiring and struggling to clear the ball from their own 23 metre area. A penalty corner in the dying moments of the game gave one last chance to equalise and gain a point from the encounter, but Teign secured victory after an uncharacteristic swing-and-a-miss from striker Sophie Russell.
Despite failing to take any points from this first league game, Weymouth can take positives from the game and will expect to build on the performance when they travel away to Newquay on Saturday.
Player of the match: Niamh Houghton