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Battling Ben Rhydding bow out of cup against Premier leaders Bowdon
12:13pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in Sport
Ben Rhydding 1 Bowdon 3
This was always going to be a tough test for Ben Rhydding in the Women's National Cup against the leaders of the Investec Premier Division but they certainly put up a good fight.
Rhydding weren’t afraid of their opponents’ reputation and played high up the pitch forcing Bowdon back into their own half from the first whistle.
This tactic paid off and full of confidence the Ilkley side surged forward.
Laura Smith drove round the back, was fouled and awarded a penalty corner.
This was coolly converted from a blistering strike by Rachelle Le Bourdon.
Jess Purvis and Sarah Bell were immense in the midfield hunting down the ball and turning over possession.
Bowdon’s first-half attacks were snuffed out effectively by full backs Tanisha Janzen and Le Bourdon.
In a more advanced position, Jodie Bridger found plenty of space to control the transfer of play to release the inside forwards.
Just before half-time and against the run of play, Bowdon scored an equaliser from a penalty corner.
The second half was not as one way as the first.
Bowden shifted up a gear and began to show their quality.
Rhydding still passed the ball with pace from the back but with tired legs they began to struggle to maintain this pace up front and in the midfield.
Rebecca Dallas enjoyed plenty of the ball on the left and dazzled with her trade mark silky skills.
But even the former Irish international could not prevent Bowdon from taking the lead from another well-converted penalty corner routine.
Charlotte Smith in goal pulled off a couple of instinctive saves to keep he Ilkley side in reach.
The game gradually slipped away from Rhydding as Bowden’s superior fitness showed and they added their third and final goal in the last five minutes.