WHITBY ladies hockey team had their first game of the season in the new Saturday Durham Clubs League at home.
Whitby have been working hard to recruit new players over the summer months as they lost three players to York 1sts, two to injuries and two to other commitments.
The new squad was experimental with some players out of their normal position.
Whitby opened shakily making some bad judgements in defence and inaccurate passing up front.
After 10 minutes, the forwards began to settle with Emily Webster and Nicola Kent excelling up front and battling with the Tioxide defence.
Two early goals from Emily Webster who was on form took Whitby into an early lead.
Jessica Richardson, a new player from Scarborough, worked tirelessly as centre mid and created several opportunities for the forwards.
Another two superb flicks from Emily Webster saw Whitby leading 4-0.
A quick break saw Tioxide score their first goal when a goalmouth scramble resulted in a flick into the back of the net.
The Whitby defence of Jo Braithwaite, Zara Noble and Karen Sanderson took time to settle into positions and lack of communication resulted in a second goal from Tioxide.
Just before half-time, another new player, Louise Sharples from Driffield, had to leave the pitch through a suspected ligament tear.
Alex Bagnall came onto the pitch to then step into left mid.
Whitby went into the second half with vigour and were now putting some good passing skills into place.
Whitby saw a fantastic goal from Nicola Kent from the top of the D followed shortly by another good goal off a short corner from Nicola Kent.
Georgie Allgood scored her first of the season for the ladies with a fine strike.
Whitby were leading 6-2 but let their guard slip when Tioxide got another two goals off a short corner and mix-up in the circle.
Goalkeeper Charlotte Jackson was not to blame as her vision was obscured by the defence.
Michelle Myers worked tirelessly at right mid, linking with Lisette Vincent Jones who could not mark her scoresheet.
The final score was 9-4 with Emily Webster scoring a double hat-trick, Nicola Kent (2) and Georgie Allgood 1.
This was a good opener for Whitby against Tioxide who they have played in the previous league – Whitby face tough opposition in the future and are training hard for matches to come.
A big thank you once again to referee Mark Hinson who made the game enjoyable and without any incidents.
Player of the match: Nicola Kent
Whitby 9 Tioxide 4