Hockey: Marlborough Ladies Thirds' new season takes off with hard fought win over depleted City of Bath Seconds
Marlborough 3rds 9 City of Bath 2nds 4
With only 10 players at 8.30 on the day, captain Daisy Beckwith rounded up 12 players by pushback - thanks to Millie Prentice and Anita Brackstone stepping up to the plate. City of Bath were not so fortunate and could only field nine players on a hot morning where lack of game time really showed.
Marlborough got into the game quickly, moving the ball well, connecting passes and enjoying their numerical advantage. They were able to find players in space and a goal looked likely and it came with a 1-2 triangle manoeuvre between Teresa and Millie.
Marlborough continued their pressure, and a purple patch followed with Joanne Henry and Millie Morgan combining well on the right. And building from left back position, Felicity was able to find Elsie and Anita on the left wing to ensure Marlborough stretched the Bath defence.
Goals then came quick and fast, with Millie Morgan scoring the first of her four goals. Whether tipping in a shot from a short corner or scoring with a strike from the bye-line, Millie always looked comfortable on the ball and likely to score.
Carrying the ball out of defence, Daisy repeatedly found Teresa in lots of space and Teresa beat the City of bath keeper with a finely placed shot for the first of her two goals. Elsie Slater scored from a loose ball and Anita flicked one in another goal from the bye-line.
City of Bath weren’t giving up though and despite their numerical disadvantage, they used their greater experience to put the Marlborough defence under pressure winning short corners and forcing some fine saves from Issy Davies in goal. As Marlborough tired, they struggled to get the ball clear and Bath finished the half strongly - but facing an eight goal deficit.
During the break, City of Bath reorganised their defence and came out strongly again. It was inevitable that the heat in the first game of the season meant that the game slowed and Bath’s more experienced players were able to get back control of the mid-field.
Marlborough never gave up and determined defending from Debs Lee and Karen Davis who ran all game kept Bath at bay until they managed to get the ball past Izzie in goal. Marlborough kept attacking and Bath were able to put three more goals past a stretched and tired defence.
Marlborough continued to play positively and did get a ninth goal when Debbie James converted a short corner and the game finished 9-4 in Marlborough’s favour.
"A great result for our first game."
Millie Morgan was the well-deserved Player of the Match. Next week Marlborough Thirds play Salisbury away.