Highbury Korfball Club start 2014 with victory over promotion rivals Mitcham
09:00 08 January 2014
Swiss Cottage-based Highbury Korfball Club started 2014 with a bang, taking a big step towards promotion to the Premier League with an 18-6 home win over title rivals Mitcham.
Sara Rocha struck four goals, while there were hat-tricks from Moses Hutchinson-Pascal, Joanna Faure Walker and Martin Petrie and four from Sara Rocha as Highbury maintained their place at the top of the table.
Mitcham drew first blood with an early score, but Highbury then clicked into gear and Hutchinson-Pascal scored before Petrie struck with two identical long-range efforts in the space of two minutes.
Rocha and Niccola Hyslop added two more goals for Highbury and, although Mitcham replied with two of their own to make it 5-3, the visitors had no answer to Hutchinson-Pascal’s quickfire double, which included an outrageous one-handed shot on the run.
Faure Walker and Rachel Dixon added to the home side’s score before the break, with a solitary reply coming from Mitcham’s Kitman Wong, leaving Highbury with a commanding 9-4 lead at half-time.
The second period belonged to the hosts, with Mitcham already looking beaten – and goals for Dixon, Faure Walker and two each for Matt Dodds and Rocha took Highbury 11 goals clear at 15-4.
A couple of momentary lapses allowed Mitcham to register twice, but the home side finished on a high with three goals of their own through Petrie, Rocha and Faure Walker.
Highbury player-coach Andrew Speck said: “This game was a really important step for the club in our ambition to gain promotion, and every player came prepared and focused.
“Within minutes we gained control of the match, with the single- minded mentality and team spirit shining through, and the players genuinely enjoying their day.
“It was one of the most dominant performances seen in the club’s recent history, and this game has really prepared the whole club – from top to bottom – for the challenges facing us in 2014.”