North Women’s County Championships (NWCC) at Wakefield 20th-21st May 2017
(by Raj Nandha)
The Isle of Man Ladies hockey team competed last weekend at the NWCC tournament held at Wakefield Hockey Club.
They were led by head coach Raj Nandha (me), team manager Alex Molyneux, and captain Kim Carney, with assistance throughout the tournament from the vice-captains Sami Verrall, Jen Turner, Zoe Crowe, Imogen Manning, and Sarah Blackman, who was also lead organiser for the trip.
The team had a tough schedule for both Saturday and Sunday, with three back-to-back games on Saturday against Cheshire, Durham and Yorkshire, and two back-to-back games on Sunday against Cumbria and Lancashire.
Yorkshire were pre-tournament favourites as the reigning champions, although Lancashire were also strong contenders.
Saturday 20th May 2017: (full result details below)
The team had a shakey start against Cheshire, being the first game of our tournament. However, given the chances and dominance in play in the second half the final result of 2-2 was frustrating as we were getting into our stride to get all 3 points but couldn’t quite manage it, and the game ended in a draw.
The ladies took their strong finish against Cheshire into the next match against Durham where we played some beautiful hockey, terrorising their defence with fast-paced attacking hockey, and defending as a unit, to win the game 6-1.
The final game of the day was against the favourites Yorkshire, who have been very dominant in this tournament with players representing from the National League and U23s international squad. In the first half the team didn’t quite get into their stride, possibly due to fatigue starting to settle in after the previous two back-to-back games, and this ultimately had an impact on the
overall result as we were 3-0 down at half time. The ladies composed themselves at the break, and
with a slight change in formation and structure, we competed well in the second half limiting
Yorkshire’s chances. However, the quality of Yorkshire’s penalty corners, which included a dragflick
specialist, meant that in the end they doubled their lead to finish the game 6-0. A tough
result to take but against a very strong team and an improvement on last year.
Sunday 21st May 2017: (full result details below)
After an amazing evening at the England Hockey (EH) Awards in Leicester to support those island
squad members that play for Vikings Ladies A, who were nominated for the EH 2017 Team of the
Year Award, we had to get back to business on the final day with back-to-back games against
Cumbria and Lancashire.
The psychological boost for the ladies, and myself, from being at such a prestigious recordbreaking
event the evening before, with over 500 attendees including some current men’s and
women’s Great Britain hockey squad members, Olympic Gold medalists, and the most successful
coach in Great Britain hockey Danny Kerry, obviously had a very positive impact on the hockey we
played on the final day.
In the first game against Cumbria we were out of the blocks quickly scoring in the first couple of
minutes. We then allowed Cumbria back into the game before scoring another two goals to go in at
the break 3-1 up. We scored a fourth goal with 8 minutes to go, before conceding two late penalty
corner goals. However, the damage we had inflected in the first half of this game meant we won 4-
3 and cemented 3rd place in the tournament behind Yorkshire and Lancashire with one game still to
A special mention goes to Kim Carney who attained her 100th senior cap for the island ladies squad
against Cumbria. This is a great achievement and testament to her continued commitment on and
off the field within island ladies hockey.
Our final game of the tournament was against 2nd placed Lancashire, who had lost to Yorkshire the
previous day, so this opened the door for us to try and finish one place higher.
It was a nervy start from the ladies where we conceded an early goal. However, we composed
ourselves well, worked hard as a team to frustrate Lancashire, contended for everything and
created a number of chances. The ladies put in one our best performances of the tournament
against a strong Lancashire side and narrowly missed out on a deserved point losing 3-2 in the end.
This was very strong united squad performance with all the players contributing in every game to
help the island team finish in 3rd place and improve from last year’s 4th place finish.
It was a pleasure and honour coaching this squad in the lead up to the tournament and during the
competition, and I am very proud of their continual development in these transitional years where
we continue to incorporate new players into the existing squad, and the experienced players
continue to develop a collective leadership and mentoring process.
Well done ladies and thank you for being so patient and understanding with me at times!
ONE TEAM ONE UNIT!
Results and Tables
Saturday 20th May 2017:
Cheshire v Isle of Man 2-2 (Scorers: Ellan Cleator & Sarah Blackman)
(WoTM: Ellan Cleator)
Yorkshire v Durham 4-1
Isle of Man v Durham 6-1 (Scorers: Sarah Blackman x 3 & Kim Carney x 3)
(WoTM: Kim Carney)
Cheshire v Lancashire 0-8
Yorkshire v Isle of Man 6-0 (WoTM: Jen Turner)
Cumbria v Lancashire 0-7
Yorkshire v Lancashire 4-3
Durham v Cumbria 2-6
Sunday 21st May 2017:
Isle of Man v Cumbria 4-3 (Scorers: Kim Carney x 2, Karmina Kovanda & Dani Coombes)
(WoTM: Louise Slater and Zoe Crowe)
Cheshire v Yorkshire 0-4
Isle of Man v Lancashire 2-3 (Scorers: Kim Carney & Karmina Kovanda)
(WoTM: Sami Verrall)
Cheshire v Cumbria 2-1
Lancashire v Durham 3-1
Yorkshire v Cumbria 4-1
Cheshire v Durham 0-1
Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
Yorkshire 5 5 0 0 22 5 17 15
Lancashire 5 4 0 1 24 7 12 12
Isle of Man 5 2 1 2 14 15 -1 7
Cheshire 5 1 1 3 4 16 -12 4
Cumbria 5 1 0 4 11 19 -8 3
Durham 5 1 0 4 6 19 -13 3
Isle of Man Ladies ‘Player of the Tournament’ as voted by the squad was Ellan Cleator.
We would like to thank IoM Sport for the travel grant support, the IoM senior hockey teams’ main
sponsor, Viking Office Systems, for their continued kit and financial support, and the Isle of Man
hockey community for their continued support at fundraising events which helps us considerably to
raise vital funds to attend these tournaments.