The Island squad brushed aside hosts East London with six unanswered goals at Lee Valley on Sunday to earn direct passage into the last eight – courtesy of a bye from England Hockey following earlier weather-related postponements.
Flight cancellations delayed their round-two trip to the Olympic Park by a fortnight and they would have been unable to fulfil their round three fixture – scheduled for this coming weekend – at such short notice.
‘Fingers crossed for a home game,’ said captain Janet Hall.
‘Unfortunately we are going to be missing a couple of key players but we will have Chrissie Helmholt-Kneissel and Lisa Grant-Phillips back, which is great.
‘We were a bit nervous on Sunday because it wasn’t the easiest pitch to play on and you would expect the home team to be more familiar with it, but in the end we were fairly comfortable, even though we were quite tired in the second half with only one sub.
‘We were lucky to have Fi Bailhache step in for us at late notice, and she scored a goal, which was really helpful, and Sarah Heelis was excellent.’
Heelis completed her hat-trick within ten minutes of scoring her first, following a good move which caught East London’s goalkeeper off balance, and the Caesareans continued with fluency before the break.
Bailhache added a fourth before half-time with a strike from close range and although the second half offered ample opportunities for London they were thwarted by the calmness of visiting captain Janet Hall at sweeper and Emma Olivari in goal.
A neat penalty flick on 47min took Heelis to four and Jersey to five, before the scoring was ended in style through a superb run down the middle by Sarah Jenkins, whose lifted shot sped home.