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Having reviewed the players from both England Over 55s & 60 squad, the South looked to be the most devoid of capped internationals available to play in this years regional competition so we were expecting some tough games

Injury also took its toll when Ruth Hine had a recurrence of a calf injury and was unavailable for selection

Manager in training Chris Allberry massed a squad of 13 players which included 4 newbies to the squad and we met and introduced ourselves the night before the tournament began in the Ramada over a lovely meal..

Formalities over and done with we identified players strengths and positional options and we set out our game plan

With the draw giving the South two back to back 40 minute games in the morning and two more 40 minute games back to back in the afternoon it was essential we maximised our energy by rolling subs regularly

First match up was against the North.  Stubborn resistance was initially offered by the North but as our communication and play started to come together Sue Crake opened the scoring when she rifled home from a SC. Sue Merry then added a second and Chris Allberry a third, both from open play. A win and we were ahead of the game.

Next up the dreaded Midlands who danced on the pitch to one of Mace's warm ups.  What's this there were 16 man squad, red buzzing around all over the place. Could this be their downfall.  Lots of substitution meant disruption to their team play. Again the silky play started to come together from the South when Kim Howarth put us 1 up and then 1 became 2 and 2 became 3, when newbie Maggs Kyte and Sue Crake scored. 

Unfortunately a goal on the break saw us leak a late goal.

Next  game against the East's basic 11 players initially were giving stubborn resistance before Marinka Shaw and Sue Merry scored during the first half.  With the win safely under our belt we endeavored to maintain possession and lower our work rate to save energy ready for the final game 

Tension really buzzing now as we went up against the West who, on paper had the best squad and who had also won their first two games and were coming back after a rest

The West started well and were quickly into their game creating but missing a few chances and being denied by some good goal keeping by Linda Billingham . With play maker Miranda McTaggart buzzing around we sacrificed a forward and closed Miranda down.  This led to the South making better use of its midfield to drive forward and creating chances of their own.

The game ended    0-0.

The West then went onto play the Midlands and were looking for a 5 goal difference to their advantage from this game if they were to pip the South to the winners podium.

Unfortunately the rigour of their game against the South left them tired against the 16 man squad of the Midlands who won by 3-0 which allowed the Midlands to take second place on goal difference

Squad:- Linda Billingham, Kim Spencer Pell, Sue Crake, Liz Lewzey, Caroline Baggs, Sue Dewar,Sue Merry (C), Chris Allberry, Kim Howarth, Marinka Shaw, Annie Day, Maggs Kyte and Miranda Smith

Coach Roger Merry

South News

Mike Ward Our Chairman Mike Ward has recently been awarded the EH Long Service Award, currently he also chairs Dorset Men's Competition Committee, Hampshire HA and South Men's League and is a member of EH's Constitution and Regulations Committee. Full report.

EH Structure Review The review was published on 09 February. Click here for more details.