SLOUGH women’s bid to win England Hockey’s Super 6s title for the second time in three seasons ended at the semi-finals stage of the Jaffa-sponsored event at the Copper Box Arena, writes Dave Wright.

Despite a spirited and battling performance, they lost 2-1 to East Grinstead, who went on to win the final with a resounding 10-2 thrashing of Buckingham.

The Pink and Blacks can be proud of their efforts on Sunday as they pushed their Sussex opponents all of the way.

They had more possession, 56-44 per cent, during the 40-minute match and fired in 18 shots - 12 in the first-half - compared to their opponents 10.

But, like so often in the outdoor league, they were unable to take their chances and ultimately paid the price.

It was in the opening quarter where they lost the game, conceding two goals in quick succession after Mel Ball had been inches away from giving Slough the lead following good work by Harriet Ward.

From their second penalty corner, East Grinstead opened the scoring through Elsie Nix in the 10th minute with a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

After Ball had gone close again, Slough shipped a second goal on 14 minutes when Lucy Holder finished off a sweeping move with a neat reverse-stick shot past keeper Mila Welch.

Slough, however, did not drop their heads and worked hard to get back into the game, playing very positively going forwards.

They forced their way into the opposing circle numerous times, only to come up against a well-organised and patient defence.

However, they were handed a lifeline in the 34th minute when East Grinstead gave away a penalty stroke and Laura Bailey coolly dispatched past keeper Becky Waters.

The Pink and Blacks continued to press hard with coach Kali Takher withdrawing Welch in favour of a kicking back, Kat McGonigle.

They forced two late penalty corners, taking their match total to nine, and had Grinstead hanging on at the end of an exciting game.

“It just wasn’t to be our day,” commented team manager Bill Griffiths.

He and his team were full of praise for the many supporters who travelled to the East London venue describing them as “truly amazing,” adding: “There was no doubt who had the biggest and loudest support. A big thank you goes out from the team and management.”

Slough squad: Mila Welch (gk), Amber Lewsey (gk), Imogen Brown, Harriet Ward, Lizzie Totten, Laura Bailey, Sarah Parkinson-Mills, Kat McGonigle (capt), Mel Ball, Emma O’Nien, Dilly Newton, Katie Jurdon.