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City's hockey girls chase cup glory

MEL CLEWLOW: "I think we'll all be feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement"
MEL CLEWLOW: "I think we'll all be feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement"

SKIPPER Mel Clewlow believes the opening minutes could be crucial in determining the biggest match in Canterbury Ladies Hockey Club’s history on Sunday.

Canterbury meet Slough in the final of the Women’s HA Cup on home ground at Polo Farm and will be bidding to prevent the Berkshire side adding the trophy to the league title already in their grasp.

Chockful of internationals, including the country’s joint leading scorer, 33-goal Jane Smith, Slough have been the most consistent club side in women’s hockey for the past decade.

They have won the national title nine times in 14 years and have been cup finalists four times in the past six, lifting the trophy twice.

This is Canterbury’s first appearance in a cup final but while Clewlow accepts that Slough are favourites she is confident her team won't be overawed, particularly as they will have most of the crowd support on the day.

England and GB international Clewlow, who turns 27 next month, said: “Slough have good reason to be confident. They’ve been in the top five for the past four or five years but they are beatable. A lot will depend on the first 15 minutes.

“I think we’ll all be feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement and I expect them to come out all guns blazing but if this is what we’ve been slogging our guts out for."

Both sides expect to be at full strength for Sunday’s game which starts at noon. Admission prices are £5 for adults and £2 for pensioners and under-16s.

The men’s final, between Reading and Cannock, follows at 2.30pm.

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