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Hockey: Marlborough 1st team lose the advantage of early goals

Marlborough 1st XI vs Robinsons A            Marlborough lose 7-4

Last season Marlborough gained promotion in the David Wood Hockey league.  So their first league game of the new season presented  Marlborough with a huge challenge: they were to play Robinsons A, one of the mainstay teams of the ‘Championship’.  
The game started somewhat nervously with Marlborough and Robinsons exchanging errant passes and struggling to find any rhythm against one another.  The game was mainly contested in the centre of the pitch until some skilful work saw Robinsons awarded a penalty corner which was duly dispatched. This galvanized the home side into action and a matter of minutes later Matt Osbourne opened his goal account for the season with a deft finish from an unlikely angle.

Roared on by the home supporters, Marlborough soon took the lead through Osbourne in a nigh on identical goal after some sharp work by Will Seward and skipper Rich Holman.  However the lead did not last for long as Robinsons answered with a sharp goal of their own.  With barely 20 minutes gone and the game already tied at 2-2 one could be forgiven in to thinking the teams might play it safe until half time but amazingly the opposite proved true. 

Osbourne completed his hat trick with yet again another goal - bursting run down the right-hand side before slotting past the keeper as he rushed the attack.  Midfield starlet Will Seward capped a superb first half performance with a mazy dribble and goal after the break down of a short corner routine.  4-2 up at half time.

The second half began and Marlborough soon realised that Robinsons were not even slightly daunted at the score line as they pressed harder and soon found themselves level after two incredibly quick goals.  With Marlborough reeling Robinsons set about further punishing the home team and soon found themselves in the lead after a scrappy goal mouth melee.  Unable to live with the intensity, and greater experience in the current situation, Marlborough had no answer to the visitors who had greatly raised their game after the surprise of the first half. 

Soon the score became 6-4 leaving Marlborough no choice but to launch an all-out attack leaving more gaps for Robinsons to play through.  Marlborough had several opportunities via short corners and shots from distance but were unable to further test the Robinsons’ goalkeeper.  With only minutes remaining Robinsons ended any thoughts of a miraculous comeback by Marlborough, slotting home a seventh goal and ending the game as deserving 7-4 victors.  

While disappointed at having squandered a good position in the game, Marlborough skipper Rich Holman reflected that there were plenty of positives to take from the performance as well as lessons to be learned.

There's more information abou the 1st team and the Club's other teams on the Marlborough Hockey Club website.

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Marlborough hockey club end the season with a convincing win over league rivals

Marlborough vs Exeter University  C        -       Marlborough win 3-2

After securing a third place finish in their league division the previous week, Marlborough went in to the last game of the season (Saturday, March 24) in high spirits determined to finish of a positive note against second placed Exeter University C.  The game itself started slowly as both teams took their time to adjust to the heat and the slowness of the playing surface with several passes not finding their intended recipient.

After the initial cagey exchanges, the game developed into a much more open affair and soon both teams were enjoying themselves with some fast flowing, attractive, attacking play which produced several near misses for both sides.  Marlborough opened the scoring after some excellent linked up forward play from Matt Osbourne and Rich Holman led to Ed Gosling effortlessly dribbling around the keeper to slot home into an empty net. 

Exeter Uni replied almost immediately levelling with some sharp work of their own. Then youngster Harry Tawney scored his first goal for the Marlborough first team giving the home team a 2-1 lead at half time.

The second half continued in a similar vein as both teams poured men forward with attacking intent but were somewhat neutralised by their defensive counterparts.  It wasn’t until midway through the second half when a terrific solo run and successful finish from Gosling looked certain to have given Marlborough an unassailable lead.

The energy levels of both teams visibly dropped in the scorching heat, but Exeter dug deep and again pulled themselves back into the game with five minutes to go.  Marlborough saw out the game with some excellent ball retention to frustrate their opponents - suitably capping off an excellent, controlled performance.

With the league finished for the year and gaining a highly respectable third place, Marlborough Captain Richard Holman expressed his pride at how the team had conducted themselves and the endeavour which they had displayed both at training and during the games. September cannot come soon enough! 

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Two vital victories secure third place for Marlborough Hockey Club in their league division

Marlborough Hockey Club: 

reports of matches in the Premier Division 3 of the Davis Wood Hockey League – which includes clubs from the west of England and south Wales:

Marlborough vs Old Bristolians     Marlborough Win 8-1   Saturday, March 17, 2012

Marlborough  travelled away to Old Bristolians knowing that only a win would be acceptable in the race for third place with Taunton Vale and Cheltenham.  Marlborough started the game somewhat sluggishly with several misplaced passes and miss-traps and were fortunate not to concede early on as OB’s had an uncontested shot from the top of the ‘d’.  Marlborough nerves were soon calmed after excellent work near the opponents goal from Ed Gosling resulted in a penalty flick being awarded which was converted by Anil Sud.

Matt Osbourne soon doubled the lead after a series of sublime passes through the midfield allowed the striker to place his reverse stick shot underneath the advancing goalkeeper.  Ed Gosling made it 3-0 before half time with a clever shot from a tight angle which caught the goalkeeper unawares.

The second half began much as the first half had finished with Marlborough dominating the game in all areas and soon had further goals from Sud, Osbourne and skipper Richard Holman.  The rout continued when Sud completed his hat trick and Gosling added another to make the score 8-0. 

With two minutes remaining OB’s managed a consolation goal to lift their spirits. However, the game finished 8-1 giving Marlborough the perfect platform for the following day’s game against arch rivals Cheltenham.

Marlborough vs Cheltenham   Marlborough win 4-3   Sunday, March 18, 2012

With a win guaranteeing third place in the league, Marlborough knew they could not afford any slips against Cheltenham who had beaten them 2-0 earlier in the season.  No extra motivation for the game was necessary as over the past several years the fixture between the two sides has become something of a grudge match.

Both teams started the game well playing the free flowing, attacking brand of hockey that they have displayed all season - leading to several chances being created at both ends.  Marlborough took the lead after John Bromley’s patented ‘crash ball’ play allowed Anil Sud to slot home from close range.  Marlborough went close to doubling their advantage several times and did so after Sud found Rich Holman to score also from close range.

At two-nil up at half time Marlborough had the momentum at the start of the second half and increased their lead with Holman scoring from a short corner routine.  This forced Cheltenham to push more people forward and they soon found themselves back in the game with two quick goals leaving Marlborough’s fans nervously counting down the minutes to the finish. 

The key moment of the match came when Cheltenham were awarded a penalty flick which could have spelled disaster for Marlborough, but goalkeeper Brian Marnane saved brilliantly to his left.  Marlborough looked home and dry after Sud scored his second making the score 4-2 but Cheltenham pulled another goal back almost immediately making for a very tense finish.

The game finished 4-3 with Marlborough securing a third place finish with one final game to go, an achievement defensive stalwart Matt Way rated as one of the most satisfying of his career.

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Marlborough Hockey Club’s two wins and a defeat as end of season nears

Marlborough Hockey Club reports of matches in the Premier Division 3 of the Davis Wood Hockey League – which includes clubs from the west of England and south Wales:

Marlborough vs Hereford  :  Marlborough win 3-2

After last week’s disappointing result against Taunton Marlborough went in to the weekend’s two games desperate to make amends and collect a maximum six points to get themselves back in to the running for third place in the Division.
Their opponents on the Saturday (March 3) were Hereford who earlier in the season had eased to victory against Marlborough with some swift counter attacking play.  The game started as a cagey affair with Marlborough well aware of their opponents strengths but soon started bossing the game from the middle of the park with Will Seward and John Bromley dominating proceedings. 

Marlborough soon took the lead after a swift counter attack led to Rich Holman scoring with an incredibly inventive shot on the volley.  Marlborough doubled their advantage in the last play before half time after excellent improvisation play from Will Seward following the break down of a short corner routine.

The second half began with Hereford noticeably putting in higher effort levels and as a result scored two quick goals of their own leaving Marlborough shell-shocked and in complete disarray.  With fifteen minutes to go Marlborough rallied and threatened to retake the lead but were unable to do so until Man of the Match Will Seward arrived at the top of the ‘d’ and thundered his shot, with bullet like precision, into the corner of the goal.  The remainder of the game was seen out in good style with Marlborough keeping possession well and frustrating their opponents.

Marlborough vs Firebrands  : Marlborough win 4-3

Having beaten the ‘brands earlier in the season with some degree of comfort, Marlborough went into this game(March 4) full of confidence but also wary as their opponents results over the last few weeks had improved greatly.  The game started with both sides exchanging attacks and it was clear that ball pace and speed of thought would determine the winner. 

Marlborough took the lead after Rich Holman scored with a flick from close range but barely minute later Firebrands levelled after a sharp shot form a tight angle.

Matt Osbourne gave Marlborough the lead again after some mazy dribbling and calm finishing, and Osbourne increased Marlborough lead again after sweeping home from close range after the Firebrands goalkeeper had stopped Rich Holman’s slider shot.  The game was seemingly over when Anil Sud scored with a reverse stick strike to give Marlborough a 4-1 lead.

Firebrands did not give up and egged on by their numerous pitch side supporters drew a goal back from a slick short corner and then soon after scored again to make it 4-3 and leaving Marlborough with a nervous final ten minutes to see out.  Marlborough dug in and keep ‘brands at bay to cap off a terrific six point weekend leaving them tied third with a game in hand.

Marlborough vs Plymouth Marjon : Marlborough lose 1-0

With four games left in the season and tied in third place in the Division, Marlborough looked to use their game in hand on their competitors to good affect with an away fixture against Plymouth Marjon (March 10.)  With the earlier meeting in the season between the two sides ending in a bizarre 10-5 Marlborough victory the chances were that this would be another goal filled game with most clinical side likely to come out as the victors.

Neither side started the game well and there were plenty of misplaced passes and miss-traps adding to the slow start.  Chances were few and far between and it wasn’t until midway through the first half that Marlborough started to look like scoring only to be denied on several short corner routines by some solid goal keeping and defending.  Marlborough were awarded a flick after a deliberate foul in a shooting position but were unable to convert leaving the game nervously poised at 0-0 going into the second half.

The second half went much the way of the first half with neither team looking like gaining an advantage until Marjon were given a questionable flick of their own which they were able to convert. For the next twenty minutes Marlborough tried desperately to force the game but were just missing that final pass or perhaps the bit of luck that they needed.

The game finished 1-0 to Marjon who, to their credit, had applied themselves tirelessly to keep Marlborough at bay.  After a hugely disappointing result Marlborough look to their double header next weekend against Old Bristolians and Cheltenham to redeem themselves.

Find out more about Marlborough Hockey Club here.  And here for details and fixtures in the Davis Wood Hockey league.


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