At last, the rain stopped and the sun was out for Okehampton’s first match back after the Christmas break, writes Lesley Bingham. 

We were up against top of the league, Caradon 2s, for our rearranged game from the first half of the season. 

Both sides managed to field big squads with a lot of rolling sub action from the sidelines. 

Okehampton 1s came out on fire and dominated possession for the first 15 minutes with Rachel Mercer controlling the play and delivering great passes into the D. Hannah Whiteley and Clodagh Tanner kept the Caradon defence under constant pressure but they did no let anything past. 

Once Caradon managed to work out how to get through our press, they attacked at high pace and, with some accurate passing, got the first goal of the match. 

This happened twice more before half-time, giving them a comfortable lead. 

Okehampton started moving the ball around again in the second half with Alice Luke and Ali Newton giving great passing options for the defence. Player of the match, Alice Kay, dominated tackles on the left of the pitch and used her nifty stick skills to get out of some high-pressure situations, supported by Izzie Thomas.

Okehampton were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a side line pass from Nicola Bennie across the pitch to Alice Kay, who pinged it straight down the line to Hannah Whiteley, who found Freya Mindova-Sharp at the top of the D, who calmly popped the ball over the goalkeeper’s stick for our only goal of the match. 

Okehampton finished as they started with strong possession. Issy Watts made a great impact as right wing-back, delivering numerous passes into the D for more shots on goal. 

Our last penalty corner saw some heroic diving efforts from Lesley Bingham in the dying moments of the match but the well deserved victory, of 6-1, went to Caradon who remain unbeaten this season. 

Next week the first team have a cup match away to Devonport services.