East Women's League division one north

COLCHESTER Hockey Club's women finished 2017 on a high note after beating bottom club UEA at the Garrison.

It was the only match to be played in the division and the very cold conditions were in stark contrast to the sweltering temperatures the teams played in the last time they met, at the start of the season.

Colchester thrashed UEA 15-0 on that occasion but this time around, the visitors wanted to prove that they have improved since then.

They brought their attack to a shocked Colchester but the hosts' solid and robust defence of Liz Pope, Frankie Highfield, Katie Irwin and keeper Lucy Stuchfield denied their attempts at goal.

After Colchester had settled into the game they started to dominate the attack, with some impressive interplay between Karen Harris, Kate Bagley and Pippa Garbutt down the middle.

With Colchester knocking at the visitors' D it was only a matter of time before an attempted at goal was converted.

Player-coach and manager Libby Knifton gave Colchester the lead, ensuring they went into the interval ahead.

UEA were bolstered at half-time though and caught Colchester off guard, slotting an equaliser past the goalkeeper within the first couple of minutes.

This did not impress coach Knifton and the player of the match reacted with a determined effort which culminated in her scoring her second goal of the game.

UEA continued to test Colchester’s defensive and attacking capabilities, with both Ciara Williams and Sophie Bendon attacking and tracking back with determination.

This effort was rewarded when captain Jemma Rix's break through midfield resulted in first XI debutante Vic Allen stroking the ball past the UEA keeper.

UEA again demonstrated their tenacity by pulling a goal back, with ten minutes remaining.

However, Colchester were determined to win their last game before Christmas.

And after winning short corner in the last couple of minutes. their well-practised routines finally played off when some beautiful interplay between Knifton and Rix culminated in the captain deflecting it past the keeper.