Title hopes fade for Phoenix ladies, but promotion push is still on

First published in Sport by

Phoenix Hockey Club’s ladies first team missed out on the chance to go top of Essex Women’s League division one as they lost 4-2 to leaders Southend and Benfleet.

It was the ladies’ first outing on their newly-relaid home pitch, which is in the same pink and blue colours as the London Olympics hockey pitch, but they were unable to christen it with a positive result.

Second-placed Phoenix had been lying one point behind their south Essex rivals at the start of the match and knew a win would propel them to the summit of the division.

However, they were unable to take their opportunity and Southend and Benfleet’s 4-2 win has seen them stretch their lead at the top to four points, while Phoenix stayed second.

Skipper Hannah Philp said: “We had a good first half and it was 0-0 at half-time, but we then had a catastrophic ten minutes when we conceded three goals.

“We threw everything forward looking for a way back and managed to get two goals, but it wasn’t enough in the end.”

It was Phoenix ladies’ first defeat after a run of 11 wins, with their only other loss this season coming against the same opponents.

Philp felt the latest one was a result that could end their hopes of winning the division one title this year, but Phoenix are still fully focused on regaining their place in the premier division.

She added: “I think it does really end our title hopes.

“I think we had to beat them on the day.

“Southend are a really good side and I can’t see them losing to anyone else so we’ll try to get promoted as the second-placed team.”

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