Double Disappointment for West London in Cup Semi-Finals
Sunday 23 April 2017 08:55
Eagles suffered two hard-fought defeats to London GD at the weekend, missing out on the chance to reach the league and national cup finals.
After a disappointing second-half to their league campaign this season West London Eagles women’s team were looking to make amends against London GD and reach the final of the EHA National Cup. The team got off to a flying start, goals from May-Hilde Akselsen and Sunniva Ovstebo Naess put Eagles 2-0 up within 35 seconds.
It took a few minutes for GD to find their rhythm, however by the tenth minute they had pulled the score back to 4-3. For most of the remainder of the half the teams couldn’t be separated, however West London finished just as they had started, two goals in the final 45 seconds of the half, from Emilija Leonaviciute and again May-Hilde Akselsen, gave them a 12-10 lead at half-time.
The second-half was a different story; London GD came out with energy and a high-intensity that Eagles struggled to contain. A two-minute suspension for Anne Holm Roppen early in the second half allowed GD to race into a 13-15 lead by the 37th minute, a lead they would never relinquish. Eagles attempted to rally, pulling the score back to 16-17 on 43 minutes however a dominant display in the final 15 minutes from GD’s goalkeeper Anna Baikova meant Eagles were struggling to find the net, allowing once again GD to pull away.
With the score at 20-24 and just four minutes remaining Eagles did begin to make headway. But, with 60 seconds left on the clock, and the scores at 23-25, a mix-up in a second-wave attack saw West London lose possession and miss out on their chance to secure a place in the National Cup final. The final score 23-26 to London GD.
In the other game of the day the men’s second team took a squad of 13 to Leyton Score Centre with a place in the League Cup final against Reading Lions up for grabs. Eagles started slowly, struggling to find their rhythm in attack, allowing London GD to quickly find a three-goal lead. Momentum would swing both ways throughout the first half, but Eagles could never quite close the gap, regularly getting to within one goal but then letting it slip back to three. The score at half-time was 14-11 to London GD.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, however 40 minutes into the game Eagles started to make headway. Combined with a couple of two-minute suspensions for GD, Eagles brought the score back to 21-20 with less than 10 minutes to go. However, the comeback was dealt a swift blow when Eagles received a two-minute suspension of their own; Attila Penics penalised for taking a man out without the ball. The suspension knocked the wind out of West London’s sails and after a tame final 10 minutes slipped to a 28-23 defeat in a game that could have so easily gone the other way.