HOCKEY: OLTON Ladies faced rivals Stourport at home, looking to make up for an off performance against Reading the week earlier.
The game started strongly for the visiting side as Stourport converted a penalty corner within the first phase of play, leaving Olton a goal down within two minutes.
Where previous seasons may of seen Olton crumble under such pressure, the squad showed mental toughness and wiped the slate clean.
Olton’s ability to break down Stourport’s plays paid off on 15 minutes when Sally Walton levelled the scores following a penalty corner.
But Stourport reestablished their one-goal lead with a penalty corner of their own before half time.
Work on fitness during the off season paid dividends for Olton minutes later though as Jen Pritchard was able to deflect the ball into the Stourport net from a penalty corner attack to level the game once more.
Both sides kept up the high pressure from this point on, and the battle could have swayed either way.
Captain Katie Brough and the attacking line made some tireless runs up front and showed some excellent skill battling through Stourport’s defence.
But Olton were helpless when they were reduced to ten women during the closing stages of the match following a yellow card.
The advantage played in Stourport’s favour, and two late goals sealed victory for the visiting team.
Olton are next in action against Bath Buccaneers on Saturday.