Hockey: despite Storm Brian, Marlborough's three ladies teams return one draw and two wins with clean sheets
Weymouth 2 Marlborough 2
For Marlborough Hockey Club’s Ladies’ First team, travelling away to Weymouth meant a minimum two hour car journey plus Storm Brian plus a thirty minute warm up in rain & strong winds (October 21).
The team must have felt that it was all against them. However, with a strong team and good plan, these are really only minor issues.
Weymouth looked ready to show how strong they were. The Marlborough team kept to their game plan and moved the ball around really well.
Marlborough dominated the first half with some physical game action with the ball to-ing and fro-ing from one end of the pitch to the other and then off at a weird angle if caught by a gust of wind.
The Marlborough midfield pressed hard with Rachel Cox dictating play in the middle of the park. Each side had dominant spells but were unable to capitalise. At one point Weymouth were awarded about eight short corners on the bounce, but the Marlborough defence held firm.
Five minutes before the end of the first half, Neve Beer stormed to the top of the D and with a straight shot scored a superb goal.
Going into the second half, there was some beautiful, simple hockey played by every Marlborough player on the pitch. Simple passes, attacking in pairs led to a number of shots on goal - though without success.
With a slight gap in Marlborough's game, Weymouth managed to get back into the visitors' defensive D, taking a shot on goal and although it was going wide, it hit a Marlborough foot close to goal and a questionable penalty flick was awarded. This was converted. Now Marlborough had to fight back.
And fight they did. Weymouth were strong and now, literally, had the wind up them and behind them. Some brilliantly strong defence made it difficult for them. Again, some great text book possession hockey was displayed by Marlborough. Then, out of nowhere, again, a break for Weymouth came and a strong shot from the top of the D took Weymouth up 2-1.
However not one Marlborough head dipped. With only five minutes left of the game, Marlborough stormed through a series of short corners.
Marlborough had to convert - they had sussed Weymouth’s strategy. Sophie Fynn managed to get a cracking goal. Level at two goals each, Marlborough needed another but they were beaten by the clock.
Well-deserved marlborough.news player of the match went to Sophie Fynn for her goal and incredible play in midfield.
Louisa Gosling on the Marlborough Hockey Club Ladies second team visit to Corsham (October 21):
After a welcome week off, Marlborough Ladies Seconds wound their way to Corsham for a windy match. There was a degree of apprehension in the team, with gale force winds forecast and a determined opposition.
Shouting to hear one another above the winds, Marlborough started the match with the first push back. Play moved backwards and forwards with the teams well matched.
Corsham demonstrated their physical strength and nifty ball skills, but Marlborough were solid in defence and worked well as a team to move the ball up field. Their efforts were rewarded half way into the first half when a fast ball injected up the pitch was bounced into the D then expertly directed into the goal by Verity Langfield.
By the start of the second half Corsham were wavering under the pressure and this obviously gave their visitors additional resolve. Play continued up and down the length of field with both teams having strikes on goal and winning a number of short corners. However, both defences were solid and neither team found the back of the net. The final score: a well deserved 1-0 to Marlborough.
The match was a huge team effort and everyone struggled to nominate a single player of the match. Marlborough.news Player of the Match ended up as a four-way tie between Chloe Darlington (who made some amazing saves in goal), Katie King (the star defender), Kitty Cleaver (playmaking in midfield), and Ciara Blackstock (for her attacking spirit on the front line.)
Daisy Beckwith reports on Marlborough Ladies Thirds home fixture against Devizes Ladies Seconds:
A windy day at home, saw Marlborough Ladies Thirds try to get back to their winning ways after two draws in a row. Despite missing key player Debbie Dellar, they still managed to keep a clean sheet - for the first time this season.
There was lots of great play from Millie Prentice, Annabel Prowse, Joanne Henry and Teresa Philpott, combining to put pressure on the Devizes defence.
Elsie Slater very nearly scored a goal in the first few minutes of the game. Debbie James worked hard with Felicity Wright to keep the attacking threat from Devizes away from the goal.
Then Debbie James found Millie Prentice with great composure at the far post and she scored giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
An injury to a Devizes player getting on the wrong end of a Debbie James hit out, delayed the game just before half time. The pressure increased in the second half, leading to many Devizes short corners, which Marlborough battled hard to keep out with good pressure from the defence closing down the attackers.
The injured player made a nuisance of herself as a goal hanger, including finding herself one on one with Issy Davies towards the end, but shot wide of the goal.
Daisy Beckwith worked tirelessly up and down the pitch throughout the game. Karen Davis, Anna Gent and Maddy Bishop worked hard battling out of defence, giving everyone a chance to catch their breaths as the pressure was eased.
The marlborough.news Player of the Match was Millie Prentice for her good attacking play and constant threat keeping Devizes’ defence on their toes.
Marlborough Ladies Thirds will now get a well earned three week break.