East Women's League division one north

COLCHESTER Hockey Club's Ladies boosted their hopes of a top-four finish with an emphatic win over Watton, at the Garrison.

Hannah Finbow-Jeffery scored a hat-trick and Sophie Bendon and Libby Knifton were also on target, in the victory.

Colchester player-coach Knifton said: "It was an entertaining match with lots of attacking play and many positives.

"It was good to see the build-up play that we have been working on this season come to fruition.

"Colchester played some outstanding hockey and it was great to see."

Colchester started quickly, pressing the the Watton players.

The midfield players of Knifton, Kate Bagley and Karen Harris took early control of the midfield.

And Bendon, player-of-the-match Finbow-Jeffrey and Helen Scott linked up and pressed the Watton defence.

Colchester dominated the ball with fantastic link up play and every time they went on the attack, they looked like scoring.

They led 4-0 at the break but they still needed to call upon keeper Lucy Stuchfield, who made some excellent saves.

Watton pressed early in the second half but the Colchester defence of Frankie Harley, Katie Irwin, Anne Marie Bradley and Ellie Benfield were solid.

They kept the Watton attackers at bay, with some fantastic low tackles and Stuchfield made several more great saves and was commanding from the back.

Lead runs from the Colchester forwards saw them create more chances and more goals followed.

Finbow-Jeffery scored twice more to secure her hat-trick and Knifton also netted, before a lapse in concentration allowed a Watton striker one-on-one with Stuchfield, who could do nothing about the finish.

Colchester Ladies vice-captain Karen Harris added: "We gave a great squad performance and passed the ball around and communicated particularly well.

"Thank you to all those parents who support the ladies first team every week, home and away.

"It is great to see youngsters Frankie Harley, Ellie Benfield, Livvy Jack and Sophie Bendon play really well and with confidence.

"They are developing into fantastic confident skilful players and are ones to watch out for in the future."

"We have had a real issue with scoring goals over the past few games and this will give us a big boost.

"Our feet are firmly on the ground and we look forward to this weekend's game at Norwich City."