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Hockey: Marlborough ladies delighted to take full points in convincing 5-1 home victory

Back L-R: Annabel Ashley, Victoria Williams, Beth Palfrey, Neve Beer, Catherine Manley, Emily Carter-Davies, Rachel Cox, Penny Bowen (capt), Anna Scott, Amy Davidson. Front L-R: Milly Dawson, Ness Pickford-Smith, Sarah Kendall, Vicky Moxham (capt), Jess Pugh, Lottie ColquhounBack L-R: Annabel Ashley, Victoria Williams, Beth Palfrey, Neve Beer, Catherine Manley, Emily Carter-Davies, Rachel Cox, Penny Bowen (capt), Anna Scott, Amy Davidson. Front L-R: Milly Dawson, Ness Pickford-Smith, Sarah Kendall, Vicky Moxham (capt), Jess Pugh, Lottie ColquhounAfter a run of bad luck which has seen Marlborough take home only one point from the last four matches, a win on home soil against Wimborne Wayfarers was crucial, and the ladies in green were hungry for victory.

After fending off an early attack from the travelling side, Marlborough were soon in control, putting the Wayfarers defence under constant pressure with some fast and flowing offensive play.

In a bizarre episode in Marlborough’s attacking D, a Wayfarers defender caught a lifted ball in front of goal - as happens to test cricketers - and Marlborough were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty flick.

They kept up the pressure and their patience was soon rewarded after Lottie Colquhoun came off the bench to slot the first goal home from the left post.

A second goal quickly followed, with the pace of Milly Dawson, Jess Pugh and Catherine Manley up front proving too much for the Wayfarers defensive line. Jess finished in style from close range making it two-nil up to the greens.

With the home team growing in confidence, Marlborough closed the first half demonstrating the best hockey they have played all season, with some excellent attacking play up the flanks from half-backs Tori Williams, Annabel Ashley and Amy Davidson, and some killer balls distributed from the ever-dependable Rachel Cox in the centre of the park.

Neve Beer chases a loose ball [click to enlarge]Neve Beer chases a loose ball [click to enlarge]  Lottie Colquhoun makes a runLottie Colquhoun makes a run  Escape for Marlborough as short corner ball ends up on top of the nettingEscape for Marlborough as short corner ball ends up on top of the netting

Keen to put clear water between themselves and the opposition, Marlborough looked the keener side early in the second half. After some excellent displays of passing hockey, orchestrated by the ‘link-men’ Ness Pickford-Smith and Penny Bowen, goal number three was quickly on the board.

This one came from a turnover won convincingly by Tori Williams, who coolly fired the ball down the right to give Lottie Colquhoun her second of the game. Jess Pugh followed suite with her second, calmly slotting a penalty flick away after finding a Wayfarer’s foot on the goal line.

That's Jess' goalThat's Jess' goal  Vicky makes a...Vicky makes a...  ...a great save...a great save

It didn’t all go Marlborough’s way however, with Emily Carter-Davies and Beth Palfrey rallying the defence and goalkeeper Vicky Moxham demonstrating her cat-like reactions with some heroic saves to keep the Wayfarers off the score sheet.

Sadly, Ness Pickford-Smith’s over-enthusiastic tackling caught the eye of the umpire, attracting a green card and, never one to be left out, Janeve Beer quickly joined her on the naughty step for the same offence.

Down to nine players, Marlborough fought hard, but the numerical advantage proved too much and the Wayfarer’s scored a well-earned goal.

With both players out of the sin-bin, Marlborough were once more in control, leaving Catherine Manley to put the icing on the cake of a very successful morning’s hockey - final score 5-1 to Marlborough. 

Marlborough News Online player of the match was awarded to an on fire Lottie Colquhoun.


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HOCKEY - LADIES: some half-term blues leave the greens with too much to do against City of Bath

City of Bath   4       Marlborough    2

A much depleted squad, due to half term commitments, made their way to City of Bath (October 22).

The team was bolstered with Imogen Bartlett and Emily Carter-Davies making their debut and Chloe Darlington stepping into Vicky Moxham's goalkeeping spot.

Marlborough were lucky to even have a starting eleven as some of the team forgot to get off the motorway at Bath and ended up in Bristol.

Marlborough started strongly with some great team play and attacking runs into the D. But unfortunately they did not manage to convert these runs into goals and with City of Bath breaking well, the Marlborough defence had to work hard.

A number of short corners were saved, but City of Bath managed to pass across the keeper and after a scrappy defence got the first goal. Marlborough started strongly again and managed to equalise courtesy of Ctaherine Manley.

Marlborough continued to play good hockey, but City of Bath were good on the break and play went from end to end. City of Bath scored a second goal and then, with two Marlborough players having been sent to the sin bin, a defensive mistake meant a penalty flick was awarded - making it 3-1.

A fired up Marlborough worked hard and attacked bringing the score back to 3-2 with another goal from Catherine Manley. With tiredness setting in, City of Bath managed to score another goal with a 4-2 result not totally reflecting the game.

Marlborough are now looking forward to having some home games having started the season playing four out of five games away from home.

The Marlborough News Online player of the match was Chloe Darlington.    

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HOCKEY: fresh faces in Marlborough men's first team and still they score a resounding win

Robinsons B   1      Marlborough    4

Marlborough Hockey Club's first men's team went into this fixture on the back of a week's break to allow many of the team to celebrate the wedding of (former?) first team player Ed Gosling and Kat Fuller:  Congratulations!

It was a very different looking Marlborough team who travelled to Badminton school for a 3pm push back in the Bristol gloom (October 29.) First team debuts were given to Freddie Hazlitt, Mark Kinder, Mark Ramage with Charlie Ponder making a return to the team.

This turn around of players showed in Marlborough's early play with lots of turnovers happening with the final pass being slightly misplaced. Rather surprisingly Marlborough took an early lead following some good interplay down the right hand side of the pitch, the initial shot hit the far post and Rich Fynn reacted quickest to put the ball into the empty net.

Marlborough began to settle into the game and extended their lead when returning captain Anil Sud found space inside the circle to finish well at the back post.

Unfortunately Marlborough's turnovers began to creep back into their play with uncharacteristic errors being made, it was from one of these that Robinsons narrowed Marlborough lead.   Following a swing and a miss by a Robinson forward, the Marlborough defenders expecting the whistle to be blown. But the forward proceeded to slot the ball into the corner.

Marlborough rallied well from this and put together a period of pressure which ultimately resulted in Mark Ramage firing the ball past the keeper to take a score 3-1 into the half-time break.

Marlborough knew they hadn't played their best hockey and so began the second half confidently, they kept the ball much more successfully in the second half and started to control the game.

Robinsons continued to threaten on the counter but controlled front marking from Rich Holman and Charlie Ponder kept their chances to a minimum. Marlborough put the game to bed with ten minutes to go when Rich Fynn once again showed his forward instincts by latching onto a rebound from the keeper and finishing the ball well into the corner of the goal.

While Marlborough never really played the sort of hockey they are capable of, winning the game in such a clinical manner with a large number of changes to the team shows the strength in depth of this year's squad.

They go into next weekend's double header knowing two wins from those games would see them sitting comfortably at the top of the league.

The Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to debutant Mark Kinder for his work rate through the midfield and excellent distribution to create several scoring opportunities

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Hockey: Marlborough men start the season on top form - with three victories in a row

L-R back Row:  Will Hodge, Will Hughes, Chris Jones, Brian Marnane, Matt Way, John Berry, Rich Fynn. L-R front Row:  Ed Watson, Alex Renwick, Rhys Davies, Will Radnedge, Matt Osborne and Rich Holman  (Missing from the photo John Bromley, Charlie Ponder & Anil Sud) To enlarge click on photoL-R back Row: Will Hodge, Will Hughes, Chris Jones, Brian Marnane, Matt Way, John Berry, Rich Fynn. L-R front Row: Ed Watson, Alex Renwick, Rhys Davies, Will Radnedge, Matt Osborne and Rich Holman (Missing from the photo John Bromley, Charlie Ponder & Anil Sud) To enlarge click on photoMarlborough     5       Firebrands    1

On Saturday, October 15, Marlborough's game against Firebrands showed the team continuing to build on the positive start to theie season - despite the absence of John Bromley and captain Anil Sud.  Marlborough were led well on the day by Will Radnedge who took on the captaincy role to great effect.

Marlborough once again started the game well and took an early lead when Matt Osborne fired the ball into the bottom corner following some positive build up play. Marlborough continued their dominant performance but were hit on the counter when Firebrands equalised against the run of the play mid way through the half.

At this stage the game was evenly balanced, until one of the Firebrands players managed to talk himself into a yellow card following a green for some fairly agricultural tackling.

Marlborough executed the next five minutes to near perfection, retaking and then extending their lead to 3-1 thanks to goals from Rhys Davies and a lovely backhand finish from Alex Renwick.

Even when Firebrands returned to a full team, Marlborough continued to dominate the remainder of the half and took the score line to 4-1 thanks to a trademark Rich Holman 'slider' finish at a short corner.

At half time the message was simple, nothing silly and the game was ours.

Over the line?Over the line?  ...yes it is - goal!...yes it is - goal!  Firebrands scoreFirebrands score  A balletic save by Brian Marmane after a short corner A balletic save by Brian Marmane after a short corner

Marlborough started the second half in a positive fashion and created lots of potential scoring opportunities which were unfortunately not converted. This was until Captain Will Radnedge stepped up to 'hammer' the ball home from all of one metre out.

Firebrands began to throw more bodies forward in the hope of salvaging something from the game, but firm defending from Chris Jones and Will Hodge combined with a couple of saves from Brian Marnane meant the score remained unchanged.

The game somewhat petered out in the last few minutes following a couple of Firebrands players losing their discipline and receiving cards, this was a shame as the majority of the game was played in the right spirit and enjoyed by both teams.

Another goal?Another goal?  That's a goal.That's a goal.  Watch out - it's short corner sizzlerWatch out - it's short corner sizzler

Three wins from three and playing some great hockey on the way,  it has been an excellent start for Marlborough which we will look to build on as we continue after our 'mini break' with no game this weekend (October 22).

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to veteran defender Will Hodge for his excellent positional play and numerous interceptions.

Reports follow of the previous two victories - starting with the opening game of the season:

Marlborough    3      Old Bristolians     2

Marlborough started their season with a competitive opening fixture (October 1) against Old Bristolians. Last season both encounters between these two teams had been close affairs, but as Marlborough had taken all six points they were confident.

Captain Anil SudCaptain Anil SudMarlborough started the brighter of the two sides, showing composure throughout the pitch and applied pressure every time the opposition tried to advance the ball.

This was rewarded when new First Team Captain, Anil Sud, ghosted through the Old Bristolian defence to open the scoring. Marlborough continued to look comfortable, but some sloppy play in the middle of the pitch allowed an equaliser before half time.

The second half began in a similar way to the first, but with Marlborough starting to tire, the Old Bristolians were able to find gaps in our press and looked more of a threat.

To Marlborough's credit they continued to move the ball well and created chances of their own. Halfway through the second half they won a short corner from which the initial effort was saved, but then Matt Osborne, making his return to the club, equalised by forcing the ball over the line.

Marlborough looked to have put the game to bed - then shortly afterwards they extended their lead to 3-1 when Captain Sud once again found space in the circle to fire the ball home.

Unfortunately old habits diehard and Marlborough did their best to let the opposition back into the game. Once again some poor passing inside their own half allowed Old Bristolians to turn the ball over and fire it across the circle to an unmarked forward who deflected the ball home.

It was a tense finish to the game, but Marlborough regained their composure and managed to see the game out despite some rather tricky moments. Not exactly a vintage performance, but the result gives us a positive start with plenty to build on over the next few weeks.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Alex Renwick for his excellent work rate up front.


Sidmouth     1     Marlborough    4

Marlborugh made the long (but favourite) away trip to play Sidmouth (October 8) looking to build on their opening victory.

Marlborough started the game well, managing to maintain early possession and a succession of aerial passes allowing the forward line to create chances in behind the Sidmouth defence.

The early pressure lead to the opening goal when Matt Way quickly took a free hit outside the 25m line and played the ball in towards the back post.  Will Hughes managed to get a touch, but could only turn the ball onto the post, fortunately Rich Fynn was quickest to the follow up - calmly putting Marlborough ahead.

The game was being played at a frantic pace with chances being created at both ends. Marlborough were disappointed to see Sidmouth equalise midway through the half and then were reliant on the excellent goalkeeping of Brian Marnane who narrowed the angles well in a couple of dangerous situations.

Marlborough began to reassert themselves and managed to retake the lead when Rhys Davies showed fantastic composure inside the circle, receiving the ball with his back to goal he turned onto his reverse and powered the ball into the bottom corner.

Marlborough held onto their lead going into half time and this positive half was epitomised by Will Hughes who charged back to make an important interception inside the Marlborough defensive circle despite having been the highest forward when the ball was turned over.

At half time a clear plan for the second half was set out which Marlborough carried out to great effect. The game continued to be played at a great pace, but Marlborough maintained possession through their midfield allowing for space to be created for overlapping runs to cause havoc in the Sidmouth defence.

This play led to Marlborough extending their lead when Will Hughes was put through  and slotted the ball under the keeper's body into the goal.

Marlborough's lead looked secure and they held out especially well despite being reduced to 10 men following Matt Way 'taking one for the team' - receiving a green card for breaking down the play just outside the 25m line.

Marlborough put the game fully to bed when Matt Osborne called for and scored a diving back post deflection at a short corner giving the Sidmouth keeper no chance.

Marlborough were really pleased with their margin of victory over a very good Sidmouth team. The game was played in the right spirits throughout with both teams playing some great attacking hockey.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Will Hughes for his tireless work rate and composure in front of goal

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Hockey: Marlborough ladies first team have "a little hiccup along the way"

Mendip Ladies    3    Marlborough Ladies  0

A sunny day in the Mendip Hills saw Marlborough Ladies continue their league campaign with an away fixture against Mendip Hockey Club.

Following the motivational team talk from our match coach Anna Scott, Marlborough were ready to play their attacking formation.  The team started well with some attacking play from the mid field and forward lines, which resulted in a series of short corners which were well defended by Mendip.

The game was pretty evenly matched for most of the first half with both sides having their fair share of opportunities. Unfortunately it was Mendip who were able to capitalise on these first.  They scored twice in the space of 10 minutes from well worked short corner routines.

At half-time it was two-nil up to Mendip, but Marlborough were convinced the game was still winnable.

The second half continued with pretty even play between the two sides. Marlborough’s team structure left them exposed at times and although there were periods of positive play from Marlborough’s youthful side, the goals just would not come.

The best goal scoring chance came from Heather Barnes in front of goal, but was stopped by a very good save from the Mendip keeper.  Mendip sensed the game was slipping away from Marlborough and piled on the pressure - which resulted in a final goal.

The ball was slipped to a waiting Mendip forward just to the right of the post and despite being smothered by a diving Marlborough keeper, the ball took an unlucky knock and ended up in the net.

Spectators decided it had been a great team effort from Marlborough Ladies and lots of positive play especially from the youth within the team. And from Marlborough News Online player of the match Beth Palfrey.  

The end of game talk looked to the positives: "Marlborough Ladies are looking forward to improving their team performance and hopefully securing a win before the half term break!"

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Hockey: Three goals apiece - Marlborough Ladies held to a draw in Salisbury

Salisbury 2nds     3     Marlborough 1sts      3

Marlborough ladies travelled to Salisbury following the disappointment of their last game which they lost to a last second winning opposition goal.

The team started with purpose and penetrated Salisbury's defence time and time again in the first ten minutes. It wasn't long before the defence was pulled apart by Jess Pugh, who dribbled in from the right hand side past two defenders before calmly slotting the ball past the keeper.

Surely this was going to be the game to put to bed last week's demons. But before the celebrations were over, Salisbury hit back immediately. The sixteen yard press was broken and two passes later the ball was in the back of the Marlborough net. Route one hockey at its best.

Emotions were high and Vanessa Pickford-Smith was green carded for remonstrating with the umpire. Time to regroup and adjust the formation.

Marlborough soaked up the pressure in midfield and goalie Vicky Moxham remained unchalleged. With eleven ladies back on the pitch, Marlborough continued to attack as they had in the first quarter, but Salisbury's keeper stood tall and produced save after save.

The second half brought substitutions and a determination to win. A short corner strike from Rachel Cox thundered into the right hand corner early on and Marlborough looked favourites to win.  

Then, with 15 minutes to go, Salisbury were awarded a short corner, and the ball was fired into the top of the net. After a discussion between the umpires, the goal was given due to a deflection off the defenders stick. Once again Marlborough's lead was wiped out.

Marlborough lost their shape a little, and Salisbury were able to exploit it, with dangerous runs down both the right and left of the pitch. It seemed the tide had turned and Salisbury were hungry for the win. Once again Marlborough were caught on the break.

The ball was passed wide and the Salisbury forward sped down the wing passing two defenders before firing it across for a free player to slot the ball in. Vicky Moxham was left helpless.

Marlborough knew time was not on their side and pummeled Salisbury with attack after attack then finally a quick ball was taken and a one two from Vanessa Pickford-Smith and Janeve Beer resulted in a short corner which was converted by Millie Dawson. Straight off the training field, a textbook goal.

Despite three further attacks and another short corner, Marlborough were unable to grab a last minute winner. From a game of dominant possession it was a disappointing draw. But with seven goals and four points from the first three games of the season , the team knows what it needs to work on to take the points.

Marlborough News Online Player of the Match was Rachel Cox for her goal and fantastic distribution in midfield.

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