The result will have been particularly satisfying for Kate Read, granddaughter of Phil Jones, who was founder secretary of the former men’s National League way back in 1962 and, of course, is one of Cheltenham's outstanding ex-internationals.
Kate is a product of the Cheltenham club but has appeared in more recent times for Liverpool while completing her degree at Cambridge University. Now, the former GB under-19s goalkeeper, who also played in the World Student Games in Taipei, is back home – and, instantly, has been elected Cheltenham's captain.
Cheltenham almost didn’t make it into BWPL this season, failing to finish in the top three places in last season’s qualification tournament. However, the withdrawal of another club opened the League door again and, with Kate at the helm, they gave their season a great launch today with goals by Sofia Fountain (4), Priya Kennedy (3), Sophie Clink (2) and Megan Swinburn.
Later, Cheltenham won again - 9-6 against Southampton.
Newcomers Exeter were easy winners of their opening game - 17-3 against Southampton. The scoring was led by Jenny Herring (6), Ella-Louise Jones (5) and Jasmin Coleman (3). The division's other new team, Watford, also made a positive start, outplaying Manchester Comets 17-4.