Kendal Ladies hockey coach Jon Elleray calls for repeat of fighting spirit (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kendal Ladies hockey coach Jon Elleray calls for repeat of fighting spirit
Kendal Ladies coach Jon Elleray is challenging his side to match the resilience shown in their draw with Ben Rhydding when Stourport come to town on Saturday.
A Rosie Dale double dragged the home side level against their Yorkshire counterparts at the weekend before Nicola Conway secured a share of the spoils with a second-half leveller.
And Elleray believes the point his charges managed to salvage after a difficult opening to the game is further evidence Kendal are adapting to life in the fast lane.
“I was proud of the performance in the end against Ben Rhydding as we showed a lot of character to get back into the game,” he said.
“They were physical opponents who like to get in your face but we stepped up to that challenge which I was pleased about.
“Hopefully we can take that into Saturday’s game which is another home clash against a team around us in the league. These are the sorts of teams we need to be taking points from.
“Stourport will be another big challenge but we feel we’re getting some form together and getting used to the standard and level of hockey we’re playing at.”
Kendal conceded two early goals on Saturday before rediscovering their composure to build on their win at Boots the week before and maintain fifth-place in the Investec Conference North standings.
And Elleray admits he feared the worst after his side made a disastrous start to proceedings but was full of admiration for their eventual powers of recovery.
“I was really pleased with the end result although the first five minutes were a bit of a shock,” he added.
“We prepared well and did our homework as Ben Rydding, one of the few teams we have come across before.
“But twice we had possession and twice they caught us one the break and it was so crucial we got the third goal of the contest.
“If we hadn’t we might have been on the end of a hiding but we managed to get our passing game going, keep possession a bit better and get back into the game.”
Nicola Martindale missed Kendal’s opening two fixtures of the campaign due to an injury picked up in the final warm-up match against an England Masters side.
Bu the skipper made her first appearance of the new season at the weekend, with Elleray buoyed by the 28-year-old’s return to competitive action.
“Nic is a big influence on the team and it’s good to have her back on the pitch,” he said. “She gets everyone fired up and is a massive addition to the squad going forward.”
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