Hockey: defeats for Marlborough's first & second men's teams - but thirds win again and go top of the table
Marlborough 7 Team Bath Buccs C 0
With Marlborough firsts playing Buccs B team the previous week and winning comfortably, playing their C team who were bottom and with no points so far, this game was a good mental test of respecting every team you play.
Marlborough started strongly, counter attacking well and looking after the ball. They were rewarded with a short corner which was deflected into goal nicely by Charlie Hawley.
Marlborough continued to press high and turning the ball over on numerous occasions, found themselves further ahead going into half time with two goals from Rich Fynn (tap in at the far post and reserve stick strike), one from Will Hughes (tap in) and another from Rich Fynn who nailed a drag flick into the top corner to complete his hat trick: "Awesome finish!!"
5-0 at half time and reportedly the message from the skipper was more of the same, don’t drop off the intensity and look to score more.
However Marlborough listened, but didn’t apply. To their credit, Buccs played deeper and tried to hit Marlborough on the break, Marlborough became frustrated and lost a little bit of shape and couldn’t string two passes together.
They did however manage to score a couple more goals. Firstly, Charlie Hawley smashed in a reverse stick strike into the corner and then Alex Renwick followed up his power strike with a flick over the keeper in the net.
All in all, a good performance. A little scrappy at times, but it was the first half display of good, quick, attacking play that did the damage.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match was Rich Fynn for his superb hat trick.
Ed Watson on Marlborough men's second team defeat at Royal Wootton Bassett:
Royal Wootton Bassett 5 Marlborough Seconds 0
A visit to the sand of high flying Wootton Bassett firsts was perhaps not the birthday treat that Keith Radnedge (or indeed Mrs Radnedge) was imagining.
That being said, after 35 minutes the team had provided Keith with a present worth smiling about - our best team marking performance for many a game.
With a very strong Bassett side, Marlborough set up a disciplined half court press which the home team found very hard to break down. Occasional forays into the opposition half, aided by Rob Hues' aerial threat, gave hope of a counterattacking smash and grab, but Bassett eventually broke the deadlock via a bizarre short corner which ended up bouncing off the apex of bar to be bundled in.
With a quarter of the game to go, 2-0 down felt very respectable, but rather inevitably the superior energy (and bench) of the home team was too much for tired Marlborough legs. A little more space was enough to allow the lead to stretch to five goals by the end of the game.
A hard day, but the general feeling was positive having kept a superior side honest for the majority of the game.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match went to Toby Sampson - for putting in an excellent shift in the midfield press.
Darren Crawford on Marlborough men's third team's away win at Shepton Mallet
Shepton Malllet 0 Marlborough Thirds 2
Marlborough Thirds made the trek to face top of the table Shepton Mallet. They started full of confidence fielding a side with a mix of youth and ‘maturity’.
Marlborough controlled the midfield and it wasn’t long before a precision pass was put through to Chris Newton who drove into the D and scored a superb individual goal lifting it past an out-coming keeper into the left hand corner.
With lots of passing between the midfield and forward line, Marlborough kept control of the game.
It wasn’t long before an interchange of good passing resulted in the ball finding Harry Strover on the left hand post who put the ball away for Marlborough’s second goal.
The second half saw the momentum change - with Shepton on the offensive. Despite the pressure the defence with the 'mature guard' flanked by the youth of Dan Dix and Tom Llewelyn, held firm with no shots on goal.
A well deserved victory overall with some great hockey at times. Marlborough.news Man of the Match was Darren Crawford.
Marlborough 3 Bath Buccs B 0
Marlborough men’s first team continued their impressive start to the season with a superb performance against Bath Buccs B. Both teams were undefeated, so Marlborough knew it would a close contest.
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.
The first lie-in of the season for Malborough Hockey Club Ladies Firsts with a late pushback against Swanage and Wareham at home (October 14). The game saw a stunning Marlborough win : 7-0.
The first half started really well with constant shots on goal and circle penetrations from the Marlborough front-line who were swarming round the Swanage goal.
Some great passing through the lines saw Marlborough win a short corner off an unfortunate Swanage defender's foot. A neat sweep across the D from Beth Palfrey saw Catherine Manley skilfully get a shot away.... but again being blocked by another defender's foot on the line. Penalty flick given. A swift flick from Catherine Manley saw Marlborough go 1-0 up.
Marlborough continued to dominate the game. Another period of great play saw Jess Davis pass the ball to the back post to be perfectly tapped in, again by Catherine Manley.
With Marlborough spirits high, they started to dominate again with Rachel Cox creating a perfect chance which she executed amazingly for a goal. With loads more chances being created from the running of Amy Davidson and Annabel Ashley and connections with Tess Christmas, Anna Strover and Milly Dawson, Marlborough saw one last goal for the half as Milly Dawson fought hard to push the ball over the line.
The second half started more slowly, with Swanage finding gaps in the midfield to attack but luckily Beth Palfrey and Emily Carter-Davies were there to make the crucial tackles.
Marlborough continued to attack the circle with Sophie Flynn hitting some terrific shots on goal, but the ball would not go over the line. As Marlborough started to get frustrated a nicely timed pass to Catherine Manley saw another goal.
Marlborough pushed hard to add to their tally and finally they were rewarded with two more goals - both scored by Catherine Manley.
After a great performance from the whole team Catherine Manley was awarded Marlborough.news Player of the Match for her fighting spirit and her FIVE GOAL tally.
Daisy Beckwith reports on Marlborough Ladies Third Team's away fixture with Corsham Seconds (October 14):
Corsham Seconds gave the team a run for their money and the score ended in a draw of 1-1.
The first half of the match was played at fast speed with some lovely skills and pace from both Joanna Henry and Millie Prentice in midfield. Unfortunately, despite our defenders' (Debbie James, Karen Davis and Alex Knighton) hard work throughout the match, Corsham managed to slip a goal in - seven minutes before half time.
Goalie Issy Davis played really well, stopping some hard hits and deflecting them back to the defenders.
The second half was intense as Marlborough became goal hungry and the forwards (Debbie Dellar, Annabel Prowse, Elsie Slater, Nyah Brooks) worked hard. Karen Davis also did some running from defence all the way up the pitch to give more chances at goal.
Luckily Daisy Beckwith was on the case, and after some lovely stick work in the D, Millie Morgan managed to score a goal from base line by lifting it over the goalie. Both sides had quite a few shots at goal from short corners, but to none made the net.
Of course it wouldn't be a proper match if Debbie Dellar hadn't come home with a bruise or two and a word with the umpire!
There were two marlborough.news Players of the Match this week, Karen Davis and Daisy Beckwith - both for their determination and interceptions.
It was Millie Morgan's last match with Marlborough, and she has been our top scorer so far this season, she will be sorely missed. Next week Marlborough are at home and play Devizes.