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Hockey: Marlborough ladies unlucky to miss the full three points from their visit to Redland

Redland      2          Marlborough     2
Marlborough ladies's first team set out with high hopes of winning this fixture against Redland. Although they knew that Redlands had a strong side, the ladies believed they could come away from Bristol with a good score.
Marlborough started the stronger of the two sides driving forward in numbers and were very unlucky not to score on a number of occasions in the first quarter of an hour.

Then Redland started getting a grip on the game and the first half became a well- balanced match seeing the pendulum of play swing several times. Marlborough's pressure paid off with a well-executed goal: Rachel Cox driving the ball to Becki Marnane, who then slipped it across the goal to a waiting Catherine Manley.

However Redland fought back hard and won a short corner which was blasted into the D and took an unlucky deflection off a Marlborough stick from close range, rocketing past goalie Vicky Moxham.

The game took several turns and was played at a frantic pace. The defence of Sarah Kendal, Ness Pickford, Beth Palfrey and Phillippa Brown held firm and the dynamism in midfield of Penny Bowen, Rachel Cox, Sophie Fynn and Rachel Jackson gave a solid platform for the forwards to cause the Redland defence all sorts of problems.

The score at half time was 1-1 and Marlborough ladies where ready to fight hard for victory.
Unfortunately, not long after half time, Sarah Kendal took a ball to the foot resulting in a lot of swelling and some tissue damage and had to sit out the rest of the game. This injury then pushed Penny Bowen back into defence where she played very comfortably. 

Despite this setback, Marlborough  took the lead again through a goal side scramble by Becki Marnane and a super set up from forward Rosie Curling. It looked like they would hold on to the lead but a late equaliser from another Redland short corner poured cold water on the Marlborough hopes.

The ball was driven along the base line and knocked across the goalmouth only for a Redland forward to slip it in on the back post. Despite Marlborough's best efforts in the last five minutes they were unable to score another goal. 

Marlborough had hoped to come away with the full 3 points but 1 point will still help them in their bid to avoid relegation.
Congratulations to both Marlborough News Online players of the match: Philippa Brown and Rachel Cox.

The team's replay against Swindon due to take place at Marlborough on Thursday evening (February 25) was cancelled because the pitch was likely to be frozen.  The previous fixture at Swindon had been cancelled because their pitch was flooded.

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Hockey: Marlborough ladies unlucky to lose a tough game by a single goal


A Jaspers' goalA Jaspers' goalMarlborough  3      Jaspers       4

Marlborough Ladies set out for this home league game (February 20) in high spirits - hoping to leave the pitch with a win. They were in full knowledge that they could beat Jaspers in this rearranged game - even though they had previously lost 6-1 to the Bristol-based team earlier in the season.

They were desperate to not have another final score like that one - unless of course, it was the other way around.

Unfortunately Marlborough were slow starting and Jaspers capitalised on this leading to a quick attack and a deflection around the keeper (Vicky Moxham) within the first couple of minutes. 1-0 to Jaspers.

This woke Marlborough up with a start and they began playing some good hockey - especially some fantastic balls up the sideline from Philippa Brown. One such play resulted in a lovely ball through the Jaspers' defence from Rachel Cox which almost rolled off the back line, but Becki Marnane swooped in and took a 'rocket shot' which flew straight over the keeper's head into the back of the net.

A Marlborough goal? A Marlborough goal? Yes...a Marlborough goalYes...a Marlborough goal

A couple of unfortunate mistakes later and Jaspers scored again - taking them back into the lead.

But more cracking pieces of play from the Marlborough defence and midfield gave Rachel Cox some brilliant opportunities to smash the ball forward to the hopefully waiting Milly Dawson, Sophie Fynn or Catherine Manley.   But these just would not go into the goal.

That must be a goal - justThat must be a goal - just

With ten minutes till half time, Jaspers scored another goal.  This time it was from a very well worked short corner routine - putting the home team 3-1 down at half time.

Marlborough knew the score line did not reflect how well they had played in the first half and knew they could turn the game around in the second. They stepped up their attack and a couple of chances later the ball was slipped across the face of the goal by Ness Pickford-Smith and Becki Marnane was on hand at the back post to tap the ball in.

Marlborough kept up the pressure and after a succession of short corners Rachel Cox produced a fantastic drag flick straight into the back of the net. Level pegging with only ten minutes to go. The game swayed back and forth between the two teams' goals - each team desperate for a winner.

Unfortunately it was not Marlborough's day as Jaspers sent the ball across the goal mouth and an unlucky deflection from a Marlborough stick sent the ball into the back of their own net.

It was a hard fought...It was a hard fought......very hard fought game...very hard fought game

With a large portion of the second half being played in Marlborough's attacking half of the pitch it seemed they should win. They fought hard for another five  minutes, but nothing came from their efforts.

With less than one minute remaining on the clock Sophie Fynn got hit by a high ball to the head resulting in a nasty split to her forehead.

Once the clock was back on, Marlborough fought on, but to no avail. Final score 4-3 to Jaspers.

Marlborough News Online player of the match was Philippa Brown for some outstanding defending in her first game for Marlborough.


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Hockey: two more victories for Marlborough's men keep them at clear third place in the table

Marlborough     4     North Somerset       3

Only a Marlborough victory would keep the pressure on second place North Somerset when they met at home (February 13.) So Marlborough had to come out of the traps quickly and did so by taking the lead through John Berry.  

Keen to stay on top Marlborough dominated play, restricting Somerset to counter attacking play which was snuffed out by the home sides defence. This created the platform to double the lead - again through John Berry as he calmly flicked the ball over the advancing keeper.

On top and playing well, Marlborough knew they had to remain focused as half time approached, but Somerset grabbed a goal to make it 2-1. This could have spurred them into life, but it did the opposite as Marlborough thern scored a third through Rhys Davies, who finished into the roof of the net following a short corner routine.

3-1 at the break. Marlborough knew Somerset would come at them hard in the second half and they did so.  But the defence held strong. Somerset pulled a goal back to make it 3-2.

This didn't stop Marlborough pushing forward and they were rewarded with a superb break-away goal from Berry, who completed his hat-trick with a thunderbolt into the corner of the goal.

With time running out, Somerset scored another with a minute to go to make the final score 4-3.

That may look a close score, but in reality Marlborough were very comfortable in their victory and fully deserved the win.

Marlborough News Online man of the match was John Berry for his outstanding hat-trick.

Will RadnedgeWill Radnedge

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Hockey: Marlborough men's goal of the season and they're into promotion position

Matt Way strikes againMatt Way strikes againMid Somerset     2   Marlborough    4

Getting back to winning ways last week gave Marlborough renewed hope of sneaking their way back into the promotion level of the league table.

 This week, Marlborough men's first team faced a tricky game away at Mid Somerset (February 6.) The game started brightly for the away side, which is more than can say for the weather.

Marlborough played the first half into horizontal rain and that was not conducive to hockey however good or not so good. Nevertheless, Marlborough created a number of chances but couldn't quite put the ball away.

It was nil all at half time and it had not been not the prettiest of games so far.

In the second half, with the wind behind them and knowing that the first goal was key, Marlborough broke the deadlock with a neat finish from in-form Will Hughes who deflected the ball home after good build up play.

Tails up and playing well, Marlborough struck again, this time Matt Way scored a sumptuous reverse stick strike leaving the keeper with no chance.

Would 2-0 up put game out of sight? Not quite.  Just as the away side went to sleep, Mid Somerset scored a break away goal to make the game interesting.

That goal woke Marlborough back up and Rhys Davies was on hand to finish well to make the scoreline a bit more comfortable at 3-1.

Then came the goal of the season so far: after working the ball out of defence well, the ball reached new recruit Rich Fynn on the wing who cut inside and fed the ball to Matt Way, who made a clever high lead to the bye line.  His first time pass was deflected in by Hughes, a superb team goal and quick counter attacking play.

It was 4-1 to Marlborough and it looked as though it was game over. To their credit Mid Somerset never gave up and scored a consolation goal right on the final whistle to make the final score 4-2.

This put the team into third place in the Central One league table - a promotion spot.  But Old Bristolians are six points behind them with two games in hand.

It was a comfortable win for Marlborough and Will Radnedge got a special mention on two counts: first for trying to throw his stick over the fence and secondly for his Marlborough News Online man of the match performance.

NOTE:  Marlborough Ladies first team game against Swindon was called off as the pitch was underwater.

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Hockey: a happier new year - Marlborough men back to winning ways

Wootton Bassett   2     Marlborough   3

Starting off 2016 with three losses, has not been the best way to begin the new year for the Marlborough Hockey Club men's first team.   

However, keen to get back to enjoying hockey, Marlborough started the away game against Wootton Bassett brightly and were wrongly disallowed a goal in the first few minutes.

This didn't stop Marlborough and they took the lead through Will Hughes who scored what can only be described as a lob/shot/cross reverse stick /scoop/lob/rocket... Whatever it was, it went in and gave Marlborough a welcome lead.  

Marlborough relaxed and played some really nice hockey and went further in front when Hughes scored again, this time with a deflection into the far corner: 2-0 and looking good.

Controlling the game, Marlborough added a third through skipper Rich Holman from a short corner routine.  This left the score 3-0 at half time.

The focus of the half-time team talk was to keep the intensity high.  This did not happen and to their credit Bassett scored to make it 3-1.

Marlborough failed to react and conceded again to leave the game nicely poised with ten minutes to go.  Then Will Hodge received a green card for asking the umpire a question after conceding a short corner, following a 'hospital pass' from Charlie Ponder.

Marlborough controlled the game to the end and ran out deserved winners in the end due to the sparkling first half performance.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was Will Hughes. 

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Hockey: Marlborough ladies' vital three point from win over local rivals

Marlborough   1    Chippenham   0
A beautiful sunny day saw Marlborough Ladies continue their league campaign with a home fixture against local rivals Chippenham. 
Marlborough needed a win and to secure a crucial three points, so played an attacking formation from the starting whistle, building on their strong team performance last week.

Chippenham, also needing to win, were determined to get the upper hand and attacked strongly - one such attack narrowly missing the goal.  But Marlborough were intent on not conceding a goal and counterattacked leading to some crash balls into the D by Rachel Jackson.

Marlborough kept Chippenham at bay with excellent team work in defence from goalkeeper Vicky Moxham, Sarah Kendall and Julie Fellows.  The first half ended at nil all.
Following a motivated team talk from coach Pete Crook, Marlborough started the second half with a new confidence, They played with a high press, executed by Ness Pickford-Smith, Amy Davidson and Captain Penny Bowen. 

Marlborough’s hard work in midfield by Rachel Cox, Lottie Colquhoun and Catherine Manley resulting in high turn overs of the ball and meant that Marlborough stayed camped in the opposition’s half. 

The pressure paid off as numerous chances were created on target by Sophie Fynn, Becky Marnane and Rosy Curling which were well defended by the Chippenham goalkeeper.  Marlborough needed to be patient as a goal was there for the taking.

Finally Marlborough were rewarded for their efforts with a goal from Heather Barnes high into the Chippenham net.

It was a great team effort from Marlborough Ladies and a well-deserved win - and a very important three points. 

Congratulations to joint players of the match Rachel Jackson and Penny Bowen.

Marlborough Ladies' next fixture is away against Swindon (February 6) - to whom they lost narrowly in October and who are now second in the league table.  Marlborough's league campaign continues...

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