Trojans ladies have been bowled off the top of the Investec England Hockey Women’s West Conference table.
They lost 3-2 to Olton & West Warwick, having twice surrendered a first half-lead, and slipped to second place after Reading whipped Oxford Hawks 4-1 at Sonning Lane.
The confidence Trojans took from the previous week’s 4-0 win at Stourport was all apparent as they swept forward, almost scoring from their first penalty corner.
They did from their second set piece – a neat routine culminating in a strike from Bex Treharne and a fifth minute shot from Jill Toombs which whistled into the roof of the net.
Olton gradually gained a foothold and drew level with a short corner of their own on 18 minutes when Kerry Thompson-Moore equalised.
Within five minutes Trojans had restored their lead after some fine individualist play by Heather Batten.
The midfielder drove through two lines of Olton defence and, when faced by the on-coming Frances Taylor, faked right but pulled left before sending her shot flying past the goalkeeper.
Instead of pushing on, Trojans found themselves pinned back as Olton produced a powerful finish to the first half and but for some desperate defending at times might well have seen their advantage wiped out.
With the rain lashing down, Trojans struggled to regain their earlier authority and within six minutes of the second half restart were back on level term – Sally Watson deservedly equalising for West Warwicks.
The game ebbed and flowed after that, with Olton getting stronger and eventually claiming the points 11 minutes from time with a Jenny Pritchard penalty corner winner.
* Trojans seconds also suffered, losing 3-0 to South Women’s League Division 2 rivals Witney.
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