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Hockey: Marlborough’s men draw their first two games of the season

Bath Buccs B vs Marlborough                    Game drawn 0-0

After a disappointing campaign last season which saw them relegated from the Championship to Conference North, Marlborough travelled (September 28) to old adversaries Bath Buccs B who had also been relegated.

With decent pre-season training behind them, Marlborough planned to employ their new 4-3-3 formation to good effect and combined with their disciplined approach to their defensive press, looked to control and stifle their opposition.

Both sides began the game aiming for solidarity in defence and midfield although it wasn’t long before both sides were fashioning free flowing moves down both flanks creating an exciting spectacle for the numerous supporters on the side lines.  

There were goal opportunities for both teams, with Marlborough coming closest when young striker Will Radnedge hit the post after a delectable dink over the onrushing Buccs goalkeeper.

The second half began with Buccs trying to further assert themselves given their superior number of substitutes.  But although they controlled much of the possession, Marlborough were able to hold firm without their goal being directly threatened.  

Marlborough themselves were not without chances and after several quick breakaway moves had a goal disallowed. And then just missed out on taking the lead after several goal mouth melees.

The game ended as a rare 0-0 draw with both sides playing some attractive and effective hockey.  A fair result for the start of the season for both sides.


Bristol UWE A vs Marlborough                Game drawn 2-2

After a goalless draw the previous week Marlborough made the short trip down the M4 (October 5) to face their second university side in successive weeks.  Having played University of the West of England’s first team the previous year Marlborough, knew that they would be facing a capable, fit and youthful opposition.

The game began with Marlborough in the ascendancy making good attacking moves down the right and left hand flanks. They were very quickly rewarded after Rich Holman’s pinpoint pass across the goalkeeper was met by a diving Will Hughes to open the scoring.  

For the remainder of the half Marlborough contained the opposition with ease, but disaster struck when player coach and defensive stalwart Matt Way was struck on the knee whilst bravely defending a UWE short corner routine.  With Way unable to continue Marlborough slightly re-jigged their formation and were able to end the half 1-0 up.

The second half began with UWE in the ascendancy, having altered their attitude and formation. 

Somewhat against the run of play Marlborough found themselves a further goal ahead after a short corner routine.  Holman’s bullet like shot was miraculously saved by the UWE keeper, but Hughes was once again on hand and after several deft touches under pressure was able to slide the ball home.       

In danger of losing on home turf UWE redoubled their efforts and were soon pressing Marlborough deep in their half.  Their constant rotation of fresh attackers and midfielders opened wide spaces as the game moved on and after a short corner drag flick the deficit was reduced to 2-1.

The tide of the game had truly turned and with Marlborough under great pressure UWE found their equaliser after a top ‘d’ defensive mix up which was mercilessly pounced on.  To their great credit Marlborough held strong for the remainder of the game with the end result being 2-2.  

Will Hughes was deservedly named man of the match for his vital two goal contribution and his tireless running up front.

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Hockey: Marlborough ladies’ first team open the season with a home win – on a new pitch and with new kit

Following the close of the 2012-2013 hockey season, the Marlborough College all-weather astro hockey pitches on which Marlborough town hockey teams play their home fixtures, have been totally refurbished with a new and startling blue surface. 

Photo right: Alex Crosby Jones on the new blue astro pitch

And for their first fixture of the new season – on Saturday, September 28 – the ladies’ first team also got to show their new kit to an enthusiastic crowd of spectators:


Marlborough Ladies’s First Team 3
Royal Wootton Bassett 1 

Marlborough ladies' first team got off to a scintillating start to the season by beating Royal Wootton Bassett 3-1 at home on Saturday.

They were one goal up within the first 10 minutes from a short corner. The set piece resulted in a superb shot, from Helen Durrans on the post, into the back of the Royal Wootton Bassett goal.

Marlborough ladies kept good possession for the remainder of the half and their defence seemed impenetrable. Before the end of the first half Marlborough scored another goal from a great strike into the D by Rosie Curling which was finished by Kate Batty.

Starting the second half two nil up, Marlborough soon conceded a goal from a Bassett short corner. However Marlborough then continued to attack and had many opportunities before sealing their victory with another goal from Kate Batty on the reverse.

Overall it was a great match for players and spectators and a perfect start to the season for Marlborough ladies first team after being promoted last season.

Below: First team photo (click to enlarge):

Back row left to right:Helen Durrans, Clare Griffiths, Rachel Cox, Becki Marnane (captain), Rosie Curling, Becky Hewlett.

Front row l to r: Helen Way, Katie Morton, Phoebe Clarke, Vicky Moxham, Penny Bowen, Alex Crosby Jones, Kate Batty.

Marlborough Ladies Hockey - First team 28 September 2013Marlborough Ladies Hockey - First team 28 September 2013

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Marlborough Hockey Club throws open doors

Hockey Club FlyerHockey Club FlyerMarlborough Hockey Club is throwing open its doors for anyone who wants to find out more about the sport.

A Club Day is being held at Marlborough College on Saturday, August 31 from 11am. Meanwhile, training sessions are held on the astro pitches from 7pm until 9pm on Wednesdays (men), 7pm until 9pm on Thursdays (women), and 9am until noon on Sundays (juniors).

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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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