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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Warrington shock Olympia in EHA Cup

Warrington Wolves pulled off a shock victory versus last year’s beaten finalists Olympia on Sunday to march on in the EHA Cup.

This feat was made all the more fantastic by the fact that their squad contained only 2 players over the age of 18 and that every player is home grown.

Warrington took the lead early on and never looked back, Olympia were no match for the pace and speed of Donna Hankinson fledgling squad lead by the ever improving speedy winger Lauren Wilkinson who contributed 4 fast break goals in the first half.

Charlotte Robinson dictating the play in her strongest performance for several years also contributed 4 goals before the break with Ari Bekker for Olympia matching her goal for goal. The score at half time was Warrington 11 Olympia 8.

Warrington steadied themselves for the Olympia rally. Olympia changed their defensive formation choosing to mark out powerful shooter Beth Wilbraham. Warrington also lost their steadying hand Charlotte Robinson early in the second half due to a serious back injury. With their other play maker out injured Ellie Whitehead had to take centre stage outside the comfort zone of her usual Wing position.

Olympia pushed hard but Warrington showed their hunger and desire playing the entire second half with an under 18s team to come out on top and although they missed several easy opportunities in the second half as they felt the pressure there defensive performance pulled them through conceding only 8 goals in each half. Man of the Match was Line player Emily Maddison who’s defensive performance was heroic with 5 blocked shots and countless last ditch tackles and hits keeping Olympia’s big shooters at bay.

Coach Hankinson said: “I am delighted, these girls are probably the hardest working players in the league, they travel from far and wide to train together and although they are still relative babies in terms of their handball education they know they are at the start of a journey.

“We work hard on defence and that was what pleased me the most, attack wins matches but defence wins titles, and although we’re a long way of beating the more experienced teams we have them on our radar.”

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