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Marlborough Hockey Club is recruiting new players

He’s usually spotted working his magic at the coffee machine in the Food Gallery, but in his spare time Richard Holman works a very different kind of magic on the hockey field.

Richard Holman is Captain of Marlborough Hockey Club and as the new season draws closer, the Club are keen to recruit new members: “We’re looking for players of all ages, all abilities – men and women, girls and boys.”

At present the Club has 80 members and a most encouraging list of 250 junior members.  The split among senior members is about half-and-half men and women.

The Club fields three men’s and three ladies’ teams and a raft of junior teams representing  the different age groups.  Last season the first men’s team failed to keep their place in the Davis Wood Championship Division and so next season they’ll be playing in the North Conference Division.

The first team has lost one of their star players. Will Seward, who has played for the England under-18 team. Will has moved to the City of Bath Hockey Club which is a national league team.

The Club are sad to see him go, but proud to have nurtured such a great talent.

Last season Marlborough’s two senior ladies teams both won their leagues and have been promoted.

The Club shares the clubhouse at Marlborough’s cricket ground.  And next season’s home games and practice sessions will be on Marlborough College’s two newly re-surfaced all-weather pitches.

First date in the Club’s 2013-2014 season calendar is the Club Day starting at 11.00 am at Marlborough College on Saturday, August 31 – for details see the flyer below.

And as if Richard wasn’t busy enough with all that coffee and with the Club, next Saturday (August 10) he’s getting married to his fiancée, Christina.  Have a happy marriage – and a successful  hockey season.

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Hockey: Marlborough lose to the season’s league champions in final game

Marlborough vs Bristol UWE            Marlborough lose 5-1

With hopes of finishing the last league game on a high, Marlborough welcomed Bristol UWE who had been vying with Cardiff for top spot the whole year and knew coming in to the game that a win would secure their position as league champions.

The game started with Bristol taking control and attacking with great pace and skill down both Marlborough flanks.  Marlborough stood firm and soon worked their way into the game with some insightful break away play which almost led to a goal.  

The deadlock was broken by the visitors mid way through the first half after excellent forward play from the ever rotating UWE strikers allowed one of them an easy tap in.  Before half time, a second goal for the visitors soon followed in almost identical circumstances.

The second half began much as the first with Bristol claiming most of the possession and creating the clearer chances to score.  Marlborough roared on by their vociferous home support pressed on and were soon back in touch with UWE after Chris Jones scored from a short corner routine.    

Both sides sensed the potential shift in momentum and the pace of the game became frantic.  

Unfortunately for the home side UWE showed their class in the last fifteen minutes of the game and rattled off three quick goals leaving Marlborough with far too much to do in the remaining minutes.

Congratulations must go to Bristol UWE - an exciting, attacking team who with this victory were crowned worthy league champions five points clear of Cardiff in second place.

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Hockey: Marlborough lose again – putting their opponents out of relegation danger

Marlborough vs Westbury and UB                Marlborough lose 3-2

With their relegation from the Davis Wood Hockey League's Championship Division confirmed, Marlborough made the short trip to Bristol to play Westbury who themselves needed a win to ensure they would not be dragged in to a final day relegation scrap.

The game started with Westbury dominant and being able to open Marlborough up seemingly at will.  Thankfully for the visiting side they squandered their chances, several of which came from Marlborough defensive errors.  

Marlborough’s main attacking threat throughout the half came down the left and right flanks with skilful wing play from John Bromley and Matt Ashton.  

Marlborough took the lead somewhat against the run of play towards the end of the half when Ashton and Matt Osborne combined for some deft one-two passes which Ashton followed up by rounding the keeper and calmly finishing into the open goal.

The second half began with Westbury upping their game further, no doubt feeling hard done by at score line that did not do them justice.  

Marlborough had to weather attack after attack and somewhat inevitably Westbury scored their deserved equaliser after some confusion close to goal.  They then pressed further on and took the lead after a quick break following some indecisive refereeing which left Marlborough flat footed.

The third Westbury goal followed soon after putting Marlborough 3-1 down with not long left in which to redeem the situation.  

To their credit Marlborough dug in and did not stop running or harrying their opponents and with three minutes to go captain Rich Holman scored after outwitting the Westbury goalkeeper with some sublime skill and a reverse stick strike.  

Marlborough tried their utmost in the remaining minutes to fashion an equaliser but ran out of time. 

Go to the Club's website for more information and fixtures.

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Hockey: relegation now certain for Marlborough as they lose in the final minute

Marlborough vs West Wilts            Marlborough lose 2-1

With a mathematical, if highly unlikely, chance of avoiding relegation, Marlborough welcomed local rivals West Wilts on a sunny and crisp Saturday afternoon.  West Wilts were themselves desperate for points in their bid to stave off relegation.

The game began with West Wilts settling to the game quicker with some excellent ball retention and calm, patient play which led to several attacks which came up fruitless against some resolute Marlborough defending.  

Marlborough worked their way into the game with several quick counter attacks down the right and left flanks which found West Wilts out of position having become complacent after their early dominance.

Soon the game resembled a traditional Marlborough match of high octane fuelled attacking and defending from both sides, an open enjoyable brand of hockey that was relished by both sides.  

Back row l to r: James Richardson, Matt Way, Chris Jones, Richard Holman, Anil Sud, John Bromley, Front row: Matt Osborne, George Gregory, Brian Marnane, Charlie Down, Kia Ames-HeadleyBack row l to r: James Richardson, Matt Way, Chris Jones, Richard Holman, Anil Sud, John Bromley, Front row: Matt Osborne, George Gregory, Brian Marnane, Charlie Down, Kia Ames-Headley


The first goal of the game was scored by Marlborough after a breakaway down the right hand side between Matt Osborne and Marlborough captain Rich Holman allowed Anil Sud to connect with a reverse stick strike from the top of the ‘D’.  

Marlborough held firm to lead 1-0 at half time after Wilts failed to score from several short corners.

Marlborough on the attackMarlborough on the attackThe second half began much the same as the first half had ended with both sides willing to play an open and attacking game.  This led to several scoring chances for both sides, but the finishing touches seemed to have deserted both sets of strikers.

With eight minutes left in the match West Wilts broke their deadlock after Marlborough were caught napping from a quickly taken sideline play and the ball ended up bundled in from close range.  

With both sides desperate for the win, the intensity was ratcheted even higher and with one minute remaining Marlborough were reduced to ten men for the third game running.  

West Wilts were able to win a short corner and with the last play of the game scored the winner leaving Marlborough heartbroken and with relegation from the Davis Wood Hockey League’s Championship Division now a certainty. Captyain Richard Holman gains some spaceCaptyain Richard Holman gains some space

Despite his obvious disappointment, Captain Rich Holman reminded his players that the application and commitment they had shown was exemplary.  He added that they would need this application and commitment more than ever in the remaining fixtures so they could end the season with pride. 


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Hockey: Marlborough concede goals to Gloucester City - does relegation loom?

Marlborough vs Gloucester City        Gloucester  City win 5-3

Knowing that nothing but a win would help in their desperate battle to stave off relegation, Marlborough made the trip to Gloucester fully focused on the task at hand.

The game started slowly with both teams happy to play the ball around in an attempt to gauge each others weaknesses and with the only real threats to goal from either team following opposition errors.  

The game sprang to life when Marlborough took the lead after sharp work down the left hand side led to an opening which debutant Charlie Down steered home from close range.  

Buoyed by the goal, Marlborough pressed higher and were soon finding themselves in several excellent attacking situations.  The pressure told on Gloucester as Marlborough went 2-0 ahead after captain Rich Holman found himself unmarked at the top of the D and slipped the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper.   

With the fist half coming to a close Marlborough seemed to be cruising until a 50/50 decision went Gloucester’s way - leaving Marlborough reduced to ten men for a sin bin offence.  

Marlborough’s troubles were doubled when they conceded a questionable goal after an awkward aerial pass – making it 2-1 in Marlborough’s favour at half time.

Gloucester came out for the second half reinvigorated by their goal and soon levelled the scoring with a deft finish on the left hand by line.  Now fully in the game and clearly with momentum, Gloucester dominated in all areas and their advantage seemed almost insurmountable after another goal and yet another sin bin offence from Marlborough reduced them to ten men once more.  

Marlborough conceded yet another goal as their opponents stretched the game with clever, quick ball movement after a short corner routine.

Marlborough conceded their fifth goal of the game with fifteen minutes remaining as their tired legs could no longer keep up with Gloucester who had exploited their numbers advantage twice during the course of the match.

Matt Osborne scored a short corner to bring some respectability to the score line.  Marlborough had held such a dominant position in the first half but once again failed to capitalise on it.

League - The Davis Wood Hockey League Division - Championship
Team Pld Pts
1 Bristol UWE 19 46
2 Cardiff & UWIC A 17 43
3 Gloucester City 19 39
4 Truro 19 36
5 Univ of Exeter C 19 26
6 Robinsons A 19 23
7 Westbury and UB 18 21
8 Swansea Bay 18 20
9 West Wilts 18 18
10 Team Bath Buccs B 19 18
11 Bristol University A 18 14
12 Marlborough 18 9




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Hockey: Marlborough's very mixed fortunes at Bath and Truro

Marlborough vs Bath Buccs C            Game drawn 4-4

With a win desperately needed and confidence in a positive result building, Marlborough made the short trip to the Bath university grounds with hopes high.  The game started fantastically well for Marlborough with some excellent passing and movement off the ball highlighting their opponents weaknesses.   

Marlborough’s dominance was soon rewarded when they opened the scoring through striker Matt Osborne after a deft move down the right hand side of the pitch.  Soon the lead was doubled when Dave Webster thundered home a first time strike from the top left edge of the D.  

Full of confidence, Marlborough pressed on and soon found themselves in full control of the game after a third goal, courtesy of a Chris Jones drag flick. This gave Marlborough a handsome 3-0 lead at half time.

The second half began with a change of tactics for the home side as they pressed Marlborough higher up the pitch and put more men in attack and midfield.  After sustaining some pressure Marlborough broke away for their fourth goal of the day after John Bromley’s sublime reverse stick placement shot deceived several defenders and the on-rushing goalkeeper.  

With the score line at 4-0 Marlborough knew they had a great opportunity to secure a vital three points, but Buccs were not going to let the game go so easily.

Their deficit was soon cut after a crash ball deflection and was then reduced further after Marlborough had a player sin-binned and a penalty flick awarded to Buccs after a clear foul during a goal scoring opportunity.  

The game back to 4-2 and with a man extra Buccs pushed further forward and soon found themselves even closer after some disappointing defensive work from Marlborough took the score to 4-3.

Marlborough’s attempts to hold on to the game slipped further as they were reduced to nine men after a contentious off the ball incident.  Buccs pressure told as they scored from a short corner routine with the last play of the game to leave the final result and incredible 4-4.  

Despite the disappointment Marlborough knew they had no time to feel sorry for themselves as a long trip to Truro awaited the team the following day.

Marlborough vs Truro                 Marlborough lose 7-2  

With the end of season run approaching, Marlborough made the long trip down to Truro knowing that they simply had to pick up points in order to keep their spirits high.   

The game started brightly with Marlborough in the ascendancy and controlling play before an unforced turnover allowed Truro to open the scoring with their trademark efficiency in front of goal.  

Marlborough soon created some chances of their own and would have levelled the scoring if not for some last ditch defending and assertive goalkeeping.

Truro doubled their lead with another break away goal, but were pegged back after an excellent first time flick shot from Matt Osborne.  Truro ended the first half scoring from a short corner routine to make the score 3-1 at the break.

The second half began with Truro taking a more dominant position in the game and their killer instinct showed with another goal very early in the second half after catching Marlborough in possession.   Marlborough pulled one back when Anil Sud scored from a short corner breakdown to give the visitors some hope.  

This was short lived however as Truro dominated the final parts of the game scoring three more times to leave the result beyond any doubt at 7-2 to the home side.

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