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Charlotte Russell, Captain of Ambleside Hockey Club

Your thoughts on the last Cumbria League game? (Carlisle vs Ambleside. Ambleside lost 3-2 having led 2-1 for a large part of the game)

Such a close match, we were winning 1 - 0 in the first half, but Carlisle just caught up with us in the end. Our fitness let us down.

And the rest of the Cumbria League season so far? Ambleside are currently 8th, with no points on the board.

We are doing really well, we have a new team so we are bonding well and playing really effectively as a team. The wins will come!

What are your thoughts on the Netherwood League season?

Our junior team is such a positive and strong side. They are all really committed to hockey and the club and the experience they are gaining is immense. They are all great players and it is a pleasure to see them play every Sunday.

What has been the most positive aspect of the season for you so far?

The players' commitment and positive attitude. They all give 100% in matches, remain focused and are all keen to improve.

Anything that you would like to improve on?

Winning of course!

And your feelings on your personal performances so far?

Taking on the captaincy this year has been tough. It takes a lot of organisation and preparation before every training and every match, but I have great team mates, members on the committee and Back to Hockey Ladies who all really help to make it a little easier. With my performance I am hoping players will see I am trying to lead by example (not necessarily the green cards!) but by taking chances to score when you can and also being willing to play out of position (for me - defence!) which take you out of your comfort zone but you still give it 100% and you end up playing quite well!

Big game today...

Yes BIG game, fingers crossed we can settle in to the new positioning quickly and get some goals in, the "local derby" is always an eventful one!

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Goalkeeper Caroline Cropper.

‘No points on the board only tells half the story!’

Your thoughts on the last Cumbria League game? (Carlisle vs Ambleside. Ambleside lost 3-2 having led 2-1 for a large part of the game)

Frustrating, but lots of positives to be gained. The training we have been putting in has paid off and we played some of the best hockey we’ve done all season. The goals from Polly and Charlotte were both brilliantly taken. We also tried out a different formation which seemed to suit our style better.

And the rest of the Cumbria League season so far? (Ambleside are currently 8th, with no points on the board.)

No points only tells half the story! Firstly, we’ve played 4 of the top 6 teams in our opening games, and we play a 5th next weekend. We knew it would be a difficult start, even before you consider the fact we lost the core of the team at the beginning of the season. However, the atmosphere has remained positive and we are beginning to work well together. The juniors who have stepped up this year have been particularly impressive and will only continue to get better the more match experience they get!

What are your thoughts on the Netherwood League season?

Again, the table does not tell the full story. It is great to see both our juniors and our Back to Hockey ladies gain match experience and grow in confidence with their hockey, and the team is beginning to gel nicely. Their performance against Kendal deserved more than the result in the end, but they are on the right track.

What has been the most positive aspect of the season for you so far?

As I said, the junior players have been particularly impressive. They have all the skills and you can see them getting better with every week.

Anything that you would like the team to improve on?

The final result! But, if we keep working as we are doing, that will come!

And your feelings on your personal performance so far?

I was rusty to say the least after a broken season last season… But I feel I am back on track and almost back to playing as well as I ever have done. I’d quite like a clean sheet soon though.

Big game next week…

And I’m in Glasgow for the Gymnastics World Championships… Gutted doesn’t quite cover it. I will be on the phone for updates!

​Battling Ambleside beaten at the death.

Ambleside 2s 1

Kendal 3s 2

A fighting performance from the ever-improving 2nd team ultimately ended in heartbreak as Kendal scored a last minute winner to seal the three points in closely fought Netherwood League match.

Ambleside withstood an early barrage of pressure early in the first half from a quick Kendal front line, with Meghan slotting in well alongside her senior teammates and making some important interceptions.

Frustrating their opposition, Ambleside were able to build on the strong defensive start and make some headway in going forwards. Forwards Holly and Karen both made strong drives down the touchline and captain Lucy was once again a strong presence in midfield, marshalling her team effectively.

Ambleside continued the second half in similar vein, making a vital breakthrough when, following a scramble in the D, Roisin steered the ball in to the net. Kendal came back strongly, and broke through a resilient Ambleside defence when a strong shot from a penalty corner evaded the goalkeeper and was poked home at the post. Kendal followed up with a quick break, resulting in a goal in the final minute to break the home team’s hearts.

Goalkeeper Caroline Cropper was nevertheless upbeat, despite the nature of the loss. ‘The girls fought brilliantly against a very strong Kendal side. They shouldn’t be disheartened-they continue to improve with every game they play and the results they deserve will come with that!’

Lucy and Roisin were voted players’ player.

Ambleside travel to Cockermouth to face Keswick 2s next Sunday, with high hopes of continuing the upward trend and getting some points on the board.

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