Marlborough 5 Bath Buccs C 1
Marlborough men's first team celebrated their promotion from the Central 1 Division of the GoCrea8 (Davis Wood) Hockey League with a resounding victory over their second placed rivals - Bath Buccs C. A great way to end the season - finishing fourteen points clear at the top of the table.
After disappointing performances over the last few weeks, there was a welcome to return to the high tempo that has seen Marlborough utterly dominate their league.
Marlborough started the game brightly, applying pressure to the Bath defence and looking to win the ball high up the pitch. They did exactly that and should have taken the lead when Matt Way intercepted a cross field ball and carried it into the circle, only to pull his shot wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.
Fortunately the lead wasn't long in coming when a flowing passing move down the left channel allowed Mark Kinder the space to fire the ball across the circle to a diving Will Hughes who got just enough on the shot to turn it home. What a goal to start the day!
Bath began to get more of the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch and pulled level shortly later through a well taken penalty stroke following the ball being judged to as hitting a Marlborough foot on its way into the goal.
Marlborough didn't let this break their momentum and duly retook the lead when Vice Captain Will Radnedge went on one of his trademark stick blocking runs through the inside left channel before rolling onto his strong side and firing the ball into the circle. It was met perfectly by Mark Kinder who adjusted his hands well to deflect the ball over the keeper and into the net.
Marlborough had made it 3 - 1 by half time following a well placed short corner from Captain Anil Sud.
The game continued to be a competitive one with Bath enjoying spells of possession, but struggling to turn it into any meaningful attacks. The Marlborough defensive line was once again showing its value to the team.
Marlborough extended the lead when Anil Sud won the ball in midfield. He played a well timed one-two with Matt Way before carrying the ball into the circle and finishing low on his backhand.
The icing was well and truly put on the cake when Will Radnedge - (likely) playing in his last game for Marlborough before heading off to some bleak northern town for Uni - carried the ball through numerous tackles, reaching the baseline before cutting back, driving across goal onto his strong side and finishing the ball into the top corner of the net.
A comfortable 5-1 win against Marlborough men first team's nearest rivals to finish fourteen points clear at the top really does tell the story of the season...
Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Chris Jones for his superb defensive work all afternoon.