Hockey Ladies eye league and cup double

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MILTON Keynes Hockey Club’s Ladies are preparing for their biggest ever week as they hope to take another step towards promotion and welcome Durham City for an Investec Women’s Vase semi-final tie.

The city side have won through three rounds to reach this stage of the national knockout competition for the third time, and the club are urging hockey fans to get down to Woughton on the Green for 2pm and support them.

They booked their last four place in dramatic fashion, beating Wilmslow 5-4 after extra time last weekend. They had already seen off both University of East Anglia and Nuneaton, having received a bye in the first round.

Now they want to go all the way and complete a really fantastic season, with promotion out of the TrySports League Premier Division 1 still on the agenda.

With three league games left to play, the ladies sit fourth in their division but know that maximum points will see them leapfrog above the sides above them to the top of the pile – securing promotion to the Southern Regional League for the first time.

They play the first of those games at home to Aylesbury on Saturday before Durham visit for the big Vase semi-final 24 hours later.

Although Milton Keynes have reached the last four of the competition twice in the past, they have never made the final.

That’s something that team captain Sophie Reynolds says she is determined to put right – and she knows a thing or two about hat-tricks, having scored three times in each of the team’s previous Vase outings this season.

“I’d be so proud of the girls if we could seal promotion and reach the final of the Vase,” said the 23-year-old. “What a great season that would be.

“Sue Sutton came in as coach for this year and we’ve played some really good hockey. I’m quite confident we’ll win the three games we need to and win the title, and then the Vase would be a big bonus.”

With some 40 goals in all competitions to her name this season, Reynolds is the team’s leading scorer by some way. But it was left to Gemma Meredith to net the all important goals in their latest win against Reading on Saturday.

That 2-1 win was only achieved thanks to a superb performance from goalkeeper Laura Pellington-Woodrow though as she saved two penalty flicks – including one in the final minute – to earn her team a vital victory.

Also on Saturday, the Ladies 2nds lost 3-1 to Windsor, the 3rds beat Oxford 2-0, the Men’s 1sts fell 4-0 to Old Georgians and the 3rds were 4-2 winners over Tring.