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Hockey: Played one won one - Marlborough ladies open with a victory over Devizes

Devizes    0       Marlborough    2

Marlborough ladies first team started the season with a comfortable win against Devizes' first team in the Wessex East Division.

Marlborough started rather slowly and for much of the first half had little to offer. 

Opportunity arose however when Heather Barnes made it through the defence to create a one on one with the Devizes keeper. Having edged the ball round the keeper it was surely going to be a well deserved goal?

But alas! her stick ended up on the floor after coming to blows with the keeper and with no offence against her witnessed by the umpire it was not to be.

At half time coach Matt Way gave clear direction to the team and Marlborough set out the second half in a much more commanding fashion. Possession remained in Marlborough's favour as they passed the ball much quicker utilising the wings as the forwards bombarded the Devizes' D.   But the ball just would not go into the net.

Marlborough's break through finally came as Captain Penny Bowen weaved through the midfield and crossed the ball into the D to Catherine Manley who was waiting on the far post. An easy tap in and one nil to Marlborough.

Sensing a victory was theirs, Marlborough increased the pressure on Devizes and it wasn't long before newcomer to the team, Janeve Beer, created Marlborough's second goal.

 She fired the ball into the D looking for a deflection from the waiting forwards and with a Devizes touch ultimately securing the goal.

In the last ten minutes Devizes started to apply the pressure but, with Marlborough goalkeeper Vicky Moxham parrying shot after shot, they were unable to affect the score line.

The game ended 2:0 to Marlborough.

Marlborough News Online player of the match was awarded jointly to Penny Bowen (joint captain) and Vanessa Pickford-Smith for their tireless work in midfield.

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Golden Team GB keeper Maddie Hinch gives Marlborough Hockey Club ladies a spin on Twitter

Maddie Hinch's re-tweetMaddie Hinch's re-tweetIt was just a routine evening training session for the goalkeepers of Marlborough Hockey Club's ladies squad.

Then first team goalie and joint captain, Vicky Moxham (on the left wearing the Marlborough News Online logo) and four junior goalies started testing their acceleration with some noisy charges off the goal line. 

And Club Vice Chairman Sarah Kendall snapped a fabulous photo (below) - catching the fun and enthusiasm of the moment.

The photo went onto the Club's twitter feed and was picked up by Maddie Hinch who was Team GB's goalkeeper in Rio and saved the vital shoot-out goal to take the gold medal for the team - beating the Netherlands, their long term rivals.

Twenty-seven year-old Maddie Hinch - known as 'Mads' or 'Mad Dog' (because of her bravery) - has 32,600 followers on Twitter.

She re-tweeted it to her followers with an appropriate message:  "Haha Love this @MarlboroughHC!! - goalkeepers are a special breed."

It is estimated that nine million people watched the Rio ladies hockey final and such an exciting finish to the tournament should give ladies hockey a real lift in Britain.

The goalies' training session that went round the Twitter-sphereThe goalies' training session that went round the Twitter-sphere

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Marlborough Hockey Club gets set for the new season

A big cheer for Team GB's gold medal hockey team (click to enlarge)A big cheer for Team GB's gold medal hockey team (click to enlarge)Sunday (September 4) was Club Day for Marlborough Hockey Club and about sixty players came to the College Astro-pitches for warm-up and practise games with mixed teams varying in size between 13 and 14 players - exciting stuff!

They all lined up to give a rousing cheer for Team GB's gold medal winning ladies hockey team at the Rio Olympics.  The extraordinary tension of the final against the Netherlands was still fresh in the minds of many of the players - inspiring stuff!

So many members and potential members came to the Club Day that someone was sent out to buy more burgers and sausages for the after practise BBQ at the club house by the cricket ground.

For 2016-17 season, the Mens first team is captained by Anil Sud, and the Ladies first team has Penny Bowen and Vicky Moxham as joint captains.

Anil SudAnil SudPenny Bowen & Vicky Moxham Penny Bowen & Vicky Moxham The men's first eleven will be playing in the Central 1 Division of the GoCrea8 Hockey league. Their campaign opens with a home game against the Old Bristolians on October 1.  They have several new players including a striker who has played at national league level.

The ladies' first team have two friendly fixtures on the next two Saturdays and begin their league campaign in earnest in the East Division of the West Clubs Women's Hockey League with an away game against Devizes on September 24.

The men's second team captain is Ed Watson and their third team is captained by James Lane. The ladies' second team captain is Louisa Gosling and their third team is captained by Daisy Beckwith.

The Club continues to benefit from the services of their coach Matt Way. A qualified PE teacher who works at St John's Academy, he is currently involved with Wiltshire Hockey as a Junior Academy Centre coach.

Evening training sessions at the College Astro-pitches start next week - men's on Wednesdays (7-9pm) and ladies' on Thursdays (7-9pm).  And each session is preceded by junior development sessions: Wednesdays 6-7.30pm - boys years 8-11, and Thursdays 6-7.30pm - girls years 10 and 11.

The Juniors training session continue on Sunday mornings.

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Hockey: with a spring in their step Marlborough Ladies win the season's final game

Marlborough      1       Hereford     0

In the blazing spring sunshine of a rare April fixture, Marlborough Ladies finally turned their festival-style hockey into a result against mid-table Hereford.

This was the final game of the season and with no pressure on the Marlborough team, they were out to get a win and enjoy the day.
In the first half, the ball pinged left to right as Rachel Jackson marshalled the middle and Philippa Brown on the right and Beth Palfrey on the left found acres of space.

With Rachel Cox, Sophie Fynn and Lottie Colquhoun always looking dangerous with their penetrating runs, Marlborough pressed strongly into the Hereford D supported by Catherine Manley and Milly Dawson.

With a few Marlborough short-corners just inching wide or high, all Hereford could muster were crash balls through the middle which were capably dealt with by the Marlborough defence of Sarah Kendall, Ness Pickford-Smith, Julie Fellows and the ever lively Vicky Moxham.

However, as the sides changed ends at 0-0, Marlborough's loyal but long-suffering supporters and coach must have felt a strong sense of déjà vu.
The eventual breakthrough for the home team came as Rachel Jackson teed up a cute pass from the middle of the field to Rosie Curling who drove the ball towards the goal then along the base line setting up Sophie Fynn to finish off the move for her first goal for the club.  And what a precious goal it was!

The drama was not to finish there, however, as Heather Barnes drove once again for goal, but her now customary header of the ball merely resulted in further make-up dilemmas ahead of the team night out, and Rachel Cox too proved an injury magnet as Hereford could not live with her silky skills.

Despite a series of Hereford short-corners, Marlborough's defence once again proved just too good and the team held out for a well-deserved 1-0 win.
As one of the team explained:  "It's an excellent result to finish off a frustrating, but highly enjoyable season. Even if it was not fully appreciated by the next generation of players who all seemed to snooze the entire way through the drama in their prams!"
Marlborough News Online player of the game was awarded to Sophie Fynn for her tireless work in the opposition's 23 and, of course, for the all important goal.

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Hockey: despite a spirited end to the season Marlborough Ladies are relegated

Newent    3         Marlborough      3

After a long trip north Marlborough were to face tough opposition from Newent, who were second in the table.

The home side needed a win to remain in contention to win the league and Marlborough needed a win to have a slim hope of avoiding relegation. With so much resting on results elsewhere in the league, the pressure was off and Marlborough were going out to cause an upset.

Marlborough started strongly pushing Newent deep into their own half and the forwards' movements were quick allowing the wide ball to be picked up and the D attacked. The home side were very much on the back foot but were also quick on the attack so Marlborough needed to be careful.

This pressure paid off and Marlborough were first on the scoresheet with a very slick penalty routine: Becki Marnane passing to a waiting Sophie Fynn whose shot was expertly deflected into the net by Rosie Buckley.

Marlborough upped the pace of their attacks, but a Newent break and a very bubbly ball gave them an easy goal. In the last play before half time a penalty was awarded to Marlborough and Rachel Cox calmly stepped up, wrong footing the goalkeeper, and smashed the ball into the back of the net.

The second half started off in a similar vein to the first with Marlborough mounting increasing pressure on the home side. Another penalty corner and another Marlborough goal with a straight strike from Rachel Jackson scoring her first goal for the club.

This third goal seemed to wake Newent up and they started showing why they are second in the league. A battle was on!

Ness Pickford-Smith took a nasty ball to the knee and Rachel Cox broke a finger, but as Marlborough did not have the luxury of any subs both battled on courageously.

Marlborough dug deep and fought hard to hold onto their lead.  But a well drilled corner routine and some intense pressure in Marlborough's D put the scores level at three all.

Newent smelt blood, but Marlborough were desperate to deny them and get the win themselves - so the last ten minutes was a frantic affair with neither side able to get ahead.

A courageous and determined performance by a Marlborough team very much on the up.  Though unfortunately a resurgence just too late to keep the team in the Premier Division 2A.

At their last game of the season (April 2) Marlborough aim to show the visiting Hereford team how much they have improved.

Marlborough News Online player of the match was awarded to Rachel Cox well deserved for giving her all even with a broken finger - and her fantastic penalty goal.

"It was," Captain Vicky Moxham told Marlborough News Online, "A big result against second in the table.  Unfortunately it has all come together too late in the season and we have been relegated."

"There is a lot of positivity about next season and determination to start where we left off playing good hockey and hopefully getting lots of goals. Every opposition captain I have spoken to since Christmas has said they can't understand why we are at the bottom of the league as we are really tough opposition!"

"The last two seasons have been tough having lost a good proportion of the team over the summer on both occasions. This year I think we may only lose two or three which out of a settled squad of 16 doesn't disrupt things too much."

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Hockey: despite a run of seven victories Marlborough's men just miss league promotion

L to r: Back Row: Rich Fynn, Brian Marnane, Ed Watson, John Berry.  Second row: John Bromley, Chris Jones, Will Hodge.  Third row: Anil Sud, Rich Holman, Matt Way.  Front row: Alex Renwick, Rhys Davies, Ollie Davies.L to r: Back Row: Rich Fynn, Brian Marnane, Ed Watson, John Berry. Second row: John Bromley, Chris Jones, Will Hodge. Third row: Anil Sud, Rich Holman, Matt Way. Front row: Alex Renwick, Rhys Davies, Ollie Davies.Sidmouth & Ottery     1     Marlborough     3                        

After the long trip down to the coast for a day in the sun and on the pebbly beach of Sidmouth, Marlborough faced a team (March 5) on the rise since Christmas.  With nothing but a win being an option for Marlborough in their bid for promotion, the game promised to be an attacking affair with no shortage of hairy moments for both sides.

Sidmouth started the stronger of the two sides and Marlborough goalkeeper Brian Marnane was called into action in the first few minutes of the game making a splendid double save from close range.  An early warning shot across the bows of the visiting vessel.  

Marlborough responded with several near misses of their own and certainly had the better of the play for the majority of the first half with quick attacks down both flanks.  Only the final killer ball was missing.

For the opening minutes of the second half neither team was able to score - until Will Radnedge snuck in at the far post for a controversial deflection goal following a short corner routine.  Sidmouth felt slighted by the decision and upped their efforts which looked on the rise until a marauding run from central defender Will Hodge left both sides speechless.  

Hodge picked the ball up near the half way and with a burst of unexpected pace, he rifled down the right hand side, past several players before slotting the ball home from an impossible angle…I don’t know what to say!

Stunned by this Sidmouth pulled a goal back quickly before Marlborough veteran defender John Bromley put the game to bed with a sensational slap hit on a short corner routine.

On the whistle it was 3-1.   With the game finished Marlborough enjoyed a well earned ice cream on the beach.  But sadly results elsewhere in the league were not in their favour.

The Marlborough News Online man of the match was Will Radnedge.

A close encounter in front of the UWE goalA close encounter in front of the UWE goalMarlborough  2    Bristol UWE A    0                        

With promotion now an impossibility due to the week's previous results, Marlborough turned up to the last game of the season (March 12) determined to go out on a high.  After almost a decade in charge of the first team skipper Richard Holman was stepping down, so this was a must win game.  

The amount of blood sweat and tears that Holman has invested in the development of the club during his tenure cannot be understated and as a result the rest of the Marlborough team were determined to garner him a final three points.

Despite their relegation UWE actually started the brighter of the two sides and used their pace to cause Marlborough some problems early on.  Soon Marlborough were able to get a grip on the game and from then on never really looked like relinquishing the momentum of the game.  

Ironically skipper Holman was only able to play 3 minutes before substituting himself with a calf injury.  That was probably a wise move considering he was due to run the Bath Half-marathon the following day - alongside fellow team members John Bromley and Anil Sud.

A close save by Marlborough's goalkeeperA close save by Marlborough's goalkeeperThat so nearly went over the lineThat so nearly went over the line

Marlborough were made to work heard for their first goal which turned out to be something straight from the training ground.  Newcomer Rich Fynn fired the ball to the back post in perfect timing with coach Matt Way’s run before coach Way deftly deflected the ball past the UWE keeper.  That is what I call good coaching!

The final play of the first half led to Marlborough's second goal when John Berry picked out Anil Sud for an easy finish as part of a short corner routine.  Two-nil at half time.

The second half began with UWE trying to press high, but the gaps created by this allowed Marlborough to flourish with several more near misses.  Marlborough completely dominated the second half but were unable to add to their lead and UWE could not muster much to bother the Marlborough defence and goalkeeper.    

Another win and just missing out on promotion was tough to take for Marlborough.  But there is plenty to look forward to next season.  

Following a heartfelt speech from their outgoing captain, members of Marlborough men’s section and the hockey club at large thanked Rich Holman for his huge efforts and exemplary leadership.

The Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was Richard Holman.Retiring Captain Rich Holman nursing his injured calf Retiring Captain Rich Holman nursing his injured calf


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