Hockey: two more victories for Marlborough's men keep them at clear third place in the table
Marlborough 4 North Somerset 3
Only a Marlborough victory would keep the pressure on second place North Somerset when they met at home (February 13.) So Marlborough had to come out of the traps quickly and did so by taking the lead through John Berry.
Keen to stay on top Marlborough dominated play, restricting Somerset to counter attacking play which was snuffed out by the home sides defence. This created the platform to double the lead - again through John Berry as he calmly flicked the ball over the advancing keeper.
On top and playing well, Marlborough knew they had to remain focused as half time approached, but Somerset grabbed a goal to make it 2-1. This could have spurred them into life, but it did the opposite as Marlborough thern scored a third through Rhys Davies, who finished into the roof of the net following a short corner routine.
3-1 at the break. Marlborough knew Somerset would come at them hard in the second half and they did so. But the defence held strong. Somerset pulled a goal back to make it 3-2.
This didn't stop Marlborough pushing forward and they were rewarded with a superb break-away goal from Berry, who completed his hat-trick with a thunderbolt into the corner of the goal.
With time running out, Somerset scored another with a minute to go to make the final score 4-3.
That may look a close score, but in reality Marlborough were very comfortable in their victory and fully deserved the win.
Marlborough News Online man of the match was John Berry for his outstanding hat-trick.
Old Bristolians 0 Marlborough 2
On a cold, windy and rainy afternoon in Bristol (February 20), Marlborough turned up with 2 broken forwards, 3 regulars missing and Radnedge junior without any shin pads.
Perfect preparation for a feisty/physical game against Old Bristolians. It turned out that it was the perfect prep, as Marlborough dominated the first half - though without getting their rewards.
They did get a deserved goal midway through the first half through Matt Way after good build up play, finishing off with a deflection over the advancing keeper (a training ground routine? Yes indeed.)
And it stayed at 1-0 to Marlborough until half-time.
Play in the second half was very similar to the first with Marlborough dominating possession, with Euan Reid (youth) and Radnedge Senior (not so youth) pulling the strings at the back and not giving the opposition forwards a sniff.
Marlborough needed a second goal to kill off the game and it came through a patient build up from the back, which then stretched the opposition, leaving gaps up front. After a quick interchanged with Rhys Davies and Will Radnedge, the ball found Rich Fynn who slipped it calmly under the keeper.
2-0 and game over. Marlborough never looked in any danger and fully deserved the win. It keeps the pressure on the second placed team in the league: North Somerset.
Marlborough News Online man of the match was Will Radnedge.