National champions Horsham book place in final

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DEFENDING Over-35 National Knockout plate champions Horsham have booked their place in the final of this year’s competition.

Bowden, and feared England goal-machine Tina Cullen, lay in wait in the final on Saturday April 14 after Horsham came through a tricky semi at Solihull on Sunday.

In an attritional first half, Horsham edged the possession but struggled with the last pass into the D. Solihull looked dangerous on the break but great defending by Gaynor Grout, Jo Larter, Steph White and Natalie Howarth meant few chances on goal.

The away side forced a number of short corners to put Solihull under pressure, and deservedly went ahead when Sue Crake latched on to a ball down the right from Larter and crossed for Fran Crossley to dive and deflect into the Solihull goal.

With the advantage of a one goal cushion Horsham started to play some slick hockey as Suzy Clapp, Rachel Humphries and Kathryn Truran dominated the midfield and the second goal came from another short corner.

The set piece was slipped to Crake, who crossed for Larter to convert. Now firmly on top, Horsham scored a third through Crossley from the top of the D as their place in the final was assured.

It has been a tough road to a second successive final with serious injuries sustained by Lynn Jones (broken knee cap) and Tash Pooley (pulled calf muscle), and Horsham are hoping to take plenty of local support to Reading Hockey Club on April 12 for the clash with Bowden.

Team: Fran Crossley (Captain), Sue Crake (Vice Captain), Tash Pooley, Liz Scaife, Rachel Humphries, Suzy Clapp, Kathryn Truran, Kay Harris, Jo Larter, Gaynor Grout, Natalie Howarth, Steph White and Alison Playle (Goalkeeper).