Hockey: Marlborough Ladies First team have an important win - but tables are turned for the Seconds as goals mount in local derby
City of Bath Ladies Firsts 0 Marlborough Ladies Firsts 4
Following two draws in the last two games, Marlborough travelled to bottom of the league City of Bath looking for three points. A minute of silence for the fallen was observed and then it was time for Marlborough to get down to business.
City of Bath looked the keener side from the first whistle, with possession and territory very much in their hands for most of the game.
It was Sophie Fynn who broke the deadlock, surging up from midfield to bury a strong cross at close range. While the City of Bath forwards rarely troubled the Marlborough D, a couple of strong breaks tested the defensive line, requiring full-backs Emily Carter Davies and Anna Scott to hold up the play and make some critical tackles.
Vicky Moxham’s pads were never really tested, but she made a vital contribution encouraging the team and shepherding the defensive line.
Quick transfer around the back enabled half-backs Amy Davidson, Annabel Ashley and Beth Palfrey to put their youthful speed to good use attacking down both the right and left flanks - City of Bath had no answer them.
It was a fast attack down the right that led to goal number two, with Catherine Manley calmly slotting away another cross.
In the second half, the speed of the inside-forwards Alice Thompson and Jess Davis was too much for the City of Bath defenders and the Marlborough forward line earned wave after wave of D entries that the opposition were lucky to survive.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, forward Bella Busby was rewarded for her hard work off the ball with her first goal for the team this season.
Possession hockey was the key to the remainder of the game and Marlborough continued to be firmly in the driving seat, demonstrating some excellent phases of quick and accurate passing between the defence and midfield. Forwards Millie Dawson, Tess Christmas and Anna Strover worked really hard.
They were unlucky not to score, but their patience was rewarded with a fourth goal 10 minutes from the end. This came from a fantastic display of individual skill from Jess Davis which saw her reverse stick shot deflected off a City of Bath stick into the back of the net.
A well-earned three points saw Marlborough climb up three places in the league, to fourth position. Next a more confident 'Green Army' faces mid-table Gillingham in deepest darkest Dorset.
Marlborough News Online Player of the Match was closely contested by most of the team reflecting the exceptional team performance, but the ultimate joint winners were Beth Palfrey and Annabel Ashley.
Marlborough Ladies Seconds: Louisa Gosling reports: having beaten Royal Wootton Bassett the previous week by 11-2, this match saw the tables turned with a 10-3 defeat by Devizes.
Meeting the second team from top of the table looked like a tough call. A slow and drizzly start saw Marlborough concede the first goal in the first minute.
The rain stopped, but the onslaught from Devizes continued until a shining moment with Verity Langfield earning and scoring a cracking penalty.
Despite this giving the team a chance to regroup and set up again and despite a good fight and a good amount of play in the opposition D, by half time Marlborough were 5-1 down.
The team obviously got an inspiring half-time pep talk from Sarah Kendall - putting theb team back in the game. Starting strongly they scored two goals – a fierce sweep from Ciara Blackstock on the left, and a slickly finished deflection from Heather Somebody at right post, fed in by a typically strong hit from Verity Langfield.
Despite a tough back line defence from Sarah Kendall with help from trusty defending queen, Katie King, and diving goalie Edie Bound, in the end our three goals weren’t enough to compete with Devizes barrage of attacks and cheeky round the keeper goals.
Marlborough.News Player of the Match went to Sarah Kendall.