Hockey: Marlborough men clinch league title with comfortable win - as next in table rivals lose
Marlborough 6 Taunton Vale 1
Taunton Vale are the only team so far this season to have beaten Marlborough so the home team were determined to win the return game. But at stake too was probably the GoCrea8 (Davis Wood) Hockey League's Central 1 section title.
Marlborough controlled the early exchanges with lots of possession and created several half chances before they eventually took the lead.
Charlie Hawley read an attempted clearance well to intercept the ball in the Taunton half, he quickly moved the ball infield and it eventually found its way to Toby Sampson who was ready and waiting to turn the ball into goal.
Marlborough soon extended their lead when Alex Renwick carried the ball well to beat two players and enter the circle, he managed to draw the keeper towards him and then play the ball square to vice captain Will Radnedge, who calmly applied the finish.
Unfortunately Marlborough turned the ball over in the midfield which allowed a quick switch of play to the Taunton left wing, their forward controlled the ball well on his reverse and made his way to the baseline, he somehow managed to burrow his way through several tackles and pulled the ball back for his team mate to put into the bottom corner.
Marlborough reacted well to this setback and restored their two goal cushion when a flowing passing move down the right hand side allowed John Bromley space to advance. His entry pass found Rhys Davies who deflected the ball across goal to Will Hughes who calmly put the ball into the net.
After half time, Marlborough extended their lead to 4-1 when captain Anil Sud found space inside the circle. He calmly dragged the ball onto his reverse and fired it underneath the keeper.
Marlborough continued to dominate the game, restricting Taunton to hopeful passes as they tried to set up a counter attack.
The fifth goal duly arrived from a lovely interchange of passing between Toby Sampson and Charlie Hawley. Toby received the ball with his back to goal, rolled strong to beat the first man and then exchanged a quick one two with Charlie. Toby found himself one-on-one with the keeper and rounded him on his reverse before slotting the ball into the corner of the goal.
Marlborough rounded the game off when a quickly taken free hit and direct carry from Matt Way - allowing him the space to fire the ball into the circle. Toby Sampson had cleverly led across goal to create space for himself, met the pass without breaking stride and deflected the ball back across his body into the corner of the goal.
At the final whistle news filtered through from watching members of the men's second team that Bath had failed to win today and therefore Marlborough had clinched the league title - safe with twelve points clear.
As one senior player said: "It's all down to the hard work put in by the whole squad both every Wednesday at training and the commitment and determination to convert that into quality performances on Saturdays."
Marlborough go into their last three games looking to protect their perfect home record and continue building momentum into the new challenges of next season.
Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Charlie Hawley for his dynamic work through the midfield.