By James Lloyd
Cardiff Women’s Lacrosse first team stormed to a convincing 14-6 win against Exeter at Llanrumney last Wednesday to all but secure promotion from the Western 1A.
Skipper Bex Jordache ran the show for Cardiff bagging six goals with Phoebe Smith also enjoying a sublime display.
The hosts were dominant in the first-half of a frenetic game, but were pegged back slightly by a stubborn Exeter side who made things tricky for Cardiff after the break.
But it was the girls in the Red & Black who came out of the blocks firing and soon took the lead through Maeve McKenny – who played an energetic role, covering every blade of grass on a damp Llanrumney pitch.
And soon after the opener, Smith doubled the hosts’ advantage before the visitors clawed a goal back.
It was fast paced, enthralling and largely entertaining as Cardiff took a foothold of the game with Jordache at the heart of the home attacks.
The England age-grade cap found Grace Fearn in space who slammed the ball in to the net. Jordache then saw an effort cannon off the crossbar and missed another opportunity seconds later.
Smith made it 4-1 before Exeter marched up the other end and pulled another back with a well worked strike.
A seesaw battle ensued as both teams exchanged goals with Cardiff forcing a time-out. Revamped from a dose of peach loops Katie Foster extended the lead before Jordache fired one into the top corner. And seconds later the medic produced a moment of magic to make it 8-3, pirouetting and juking past a number of Exeter defenders before launching another past the Exeter goalkeeper.
The Devonshire side, though, were clinical going forward and scored another with Jordache on hand to ensure Cardiff led 9-5 at the break.
The hosts had to show patience after half-time as the visitors defended in numbers but Smith was on the end of another positive home attack.
A frustrating patch for Cardiff saw chances go begging courtesy of a number of saves from the Exeter ‘keeper and shots hitting the woodwork.
But Jordache made it 11-6 before Smith had a goal disallowed and saw another hit the post.
Jordache and the spritely Smith combined beautifully for goal number 12 and produced a carbon copy minutes later.
And late on, Jordache put the seal on the win with her sixth of the game leaving her feeling delighted with the comprehensive victory.
She said: “That was such a good game for us, as last time we only beat Exeter by one goal, so we knew it was going to be a difficult game to go into. We haven’t played a game this side of Christmas yet so it was good to come out especially in the first-half and play well.
“We have been working on our fitness and we made a good start and just ate away at the scoreline so we are really happy.
“It was definitely our game plan in the first 10 minutes to not concede anything and get some goals to boost the confidence. It was a big focus area for us so it was good to get a few goals there and settle everyone.
“We definitely had a dip in the second-half. We took some easy shots at goal and made their ‘keeper look really good – which she is – but we made her look even better.”
Cardiff face a Cup fixture on Wednesday against Midlands 1A side Nottingham Trent. But Jordache is relishing the game despite knowing a loss will see them bow out of the competition.
“We haven’t played Nottingham Trent before, but cup games are always great and they are straight knock-out,” she said.
“It is always nice to play a team that you haven’t played before. It will be nice to go out and play on home turf and move on to the next round.”
Women’s Lacrosse Team: (Back Row from the left):
Laura Pallas-Clark, Alice Petheram, Alex Richards, Grace Fearn, Cass Trend, Liv Turner, Emily Owen, Shanti Kang, Becca Creamer, Katy Crisp.
(Front Row from the left): Hannah Bodin, Katie Foster, Phoebe Smith, Ella Fairlie, Bex Jordache, Maeve McKenny, Amelie Woods, Grace Wilson.