Vixen’s took to the final qualifiers, complimented by a near full squad, knowing a place at Nationals was at stake.
To kick start the tournament, the ladies went up against local side Sheffield Steelers. Both teams were fired up, but it was Nottingham who hit the ground running with goals from Bennett, Jones, Byrne and Moss giving Vixen’s a 4 goal lead. Steelers did manage to pull one back, but it wasn’t enough as Vixen’s got the start they were looking for, taking the game 4-1.
Next up, was what the ladies knew would be the hardest test of the day – Mauve Avengers, the side who are currently unbeaten. Vixen’s stood firm in a fast and physical battle, and were only undone by two very well taken goals. Avengers led 2-0 at the break, and it looked to finish that way until a lucky bounce near the end gave them the 3rd goal they’d been looking for. A 3-0 loss, but a strong performance against the team who stayed on top all day.
Straight after the midpoint break, Vixen’s took to the court against Wildstars. The teams went toe-to-toe in an even match up, with both sides struggling to find that final touch to give them the breakthrough they needed. Eventually, an opportunity at the back post presented Wildstars with the chance they were hoping for, and they were able to tap it in for the only goal of the game; 1-0 Wildstars.
The penultimate game for Vixen’s saw them take on Bee’s Knees, a side they tied 1-1 with in the previous tournament. Unfortunately the Bees were quick out the blocks, and moved the ball well to put 4 unanswered goals past a frustrated Nottingham side. With just under two minutes left the game looked dead and buried, but Vixen’s weren’t ready to give up. In a frantic minute, 2 goals from Taylor (including a rather special volley at the back post!) and 1 from Moss, set the game up for a grand finale. With Ally in net pulled to the bench Vixen’s looked to finish off what would’ve been a miraculous comeback, but didn’t manage to keep the Bees out as they took advantage of the empty net. Final score 5-3.
For the final game of the day it all hung in the balance; Vixen’s were currently holding the 4th qualifying spot but Widnes were still within a chance of stealing it. The ladies knew they had to give it their all, and came out fighting from the off, putting in a physical battle for every ball. With the scores tied 1-1 at the break, the 2nd half took off at the same pace. Tensions were high as both teams looked for the winner, but it was Vixen’s who got the breakthrough and stood firm to see the game out. In what proved to be a fast and tense game, Vixen’s came out on top with goals from Taylor and Byrne to secure a 2-1 win…. And most importantly the final spot at Nationals.
A big well done to all who took part; it was a tough day with an excellent standard of hockey from all teams. Vixen’s kept their head when they needed to, but the hard work continues now as we prepare for the Nationals in May.