Marlborough's early season promise continued with a comprehensive victory at home to Devizes in the match kindly sponsored by Crosby and Lawerence sports shop of Marlborough.
After winning the toss and batting first Marlborough reached 197 for 8 off their 50 overs with Peter Day 75 and Bob Homani 31 the leading run scorers, with Duncan Lorrain 13 and George Fox 13 not out helping out at the end of the innings to ensure that Devizes faced an uphill task with bat with James Dunford 3-40 and Jon Couch 2-43 the best of the bowlers for the visiting side.
In reply Devizes crumbled with the bat with only Gerald Schmitt 17, Jon Couch 16 and skipper Tom Grant 12 reaching double figures as they were bowled out for 68 in just 29 overs.
Star all rounder Ben Head took 4-4 off 7 overs with 5 maidens included while George Fox 2-25,Will Langton 2-25 and Harrison Painter 1-13 were the other wicket takers for the Savernake Forrest based outfit
South African star Bob Homani scored a brilliant 144 as Marlborough crushed Calne at home in the match sponsored by The Bear inn in Marlborough.
Put into bat by the visitors Marlborough were in early trouble when skipper Tom Norris fell with just 8 on the board but a vital 91 2nd wicket partnership between Homani and Nick Crabbe 24 steadied the ship and Homani pushed on with an array of high class shots as Marlborough posted 239-6 of their 50 overs with James Smears 1-19,Julian Kearney 1-37 and Courtney Earl 1-38 the pick of Calne's bowlers.
In reply Calne were in deep trouble as early as the 2nd ball of the innings thanks to a breathtaking one handed catch from Ben Head. Calne then crumbled to 49 all out in the 24th over with only Stuart Windsor 15 and George Sykes 12 offering any resistance as Marlborough's bowling attacked ripped through Calne's batting line up with George Fox 3-14 and Ben Head 3-15 taking the bowling honours for the home side.
Skipper Norris was delighted with his sides win " Bob showed his class today and victory was set up by a brilliant catch by Ben, it was a thoroughly professional performance and it was great to see Fox back to his best"
St Mary’s Church Hall on a Monday evening and a faithful band of men and women, girls and boys are dressed in traditional white gear to learn the skills of Shotokan karate. Ian Binge teaches the martial art to classes in Marlborough and Newbury.
Shotokan karate is a no-contact version of the oriental sport that develops bodily agility, strength and control. The attacking and defensive moves are practised in the air but facing a partner.
“You will learn,” says Ian, “fighting techniques which can, if the need arises, be used for self-defence.”
Each session begins with an energetic warm-up to get the muscles ready for the series of sometimes complex moves that Ian teaches. In Marlborough he has a class of ten students studying the complex moves of Shotokan.
Ian Binge (3rd from left) with Marlborough studentsAs with other oriental martial arts, there is a series of levels through which students progress. And if you have trouble remembering the order of colours in snooker, there are many more colours to remember for Shotokan.
You begin at the white level, and proceed to orange, red, yellow, green, purple, purple and white, brown, brown and white, brown and two whites – and finally to black. The whole series can take up to four years to achieve.
Shotokan karate came from Okinawa, was taken up in Japan and was first taught in Britain in the early 1960s. The more widely practised TaeKonDo karate – which is a contact sport – originated in Korea, came to Britain in the 1950s, and has been an Olympic sport since 2000.
Shotokan karate is certainly not a sport that needs expensive equipment – just a set of loose white clothes and the right colour of belt. What is more it does not need the latest line in fashionable trainers as it is definitely a bare-foot sport.
Ian Binge lives near Reading at Caversham and works in the computer industry. His weekly sessions at St Mary’s Hall cost £5. The governing Southern Shotokan Karate Association (SSKA) charges £43 to qualify at each grade level and that includes two ninety minute lessons from a six dan instructor.
Ian is keen to develop the sport in Marlborough and will be talking to the Marlborough Sports Forum to see how that development can be encouraged.
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.
Marlborough vs West Wilts Marlborough lose 2-1
With a mathematical, if highly unlikely, chance of avoiding relegation, Marlborough welcomed local rivals West Wilts on a sunny and crisp Saturday afternoon. West Wilts were themselves desperate for points in their bid to stave off relegation.
The game began with West Wilts settling to the game quicker with some excellent ball retention and calm, patient play which led to several attacks which came up fruitless against some resolute Marlborough defending.
Marlborough worked their way into the game with several quick counter attacks down the right and left flanks which found West Wilts out of position having become complacent after their early dominance.
Soon the game resembled a traditional Marlborough match of high octane fuelled attacking and defending from both sides, an open enjoyable brand of hockey that was relished by both sides.
Back row l to r: James Richardson, Matt Way, Chris Jones, Richard Holman, Anil Sud, John Bromley, Front row: Matt Osborne, George Gregory, Brian Marnane, Charlie Down, Kia Ames-Headley
The first goal of the game was scored by Marlborough after a breakaway down the right hand side between Matt Osborne and Marlborough captain Rich Holman allowed Anil Sud to connect with a reverse stick strike from the top of the ‘D’.
Marlborough held firm to lead 1-0 at half time after Wilts failed to score from several short corners.
Marlborough on the attackThe second half began much the same as the first half had ended with both sides willing to play an open and attacking game. This led to several scoring chances for both sides, but the finishing touches seemed to have deserted both sets of strikers.
With eight minutes left in the match West Wilts broke their deadlock after Marlborough were caught napping from a quickly taken sideline play and the ball ended up bundled in from close range.
With both sides desperate for the win, the intensity was ratcheted even higher and with one minute remaining Marlborough were reduced to ten men for the third game running.
West Wilts were able to win a short corner and with the last play of the game scored the winner leaving Marlborough heartbroken and with relegation from the Davis Wood Hockey League’s Championship Division now a certainty. Captyain Richard Holman gains some space
Despite his obvious disappointment, Captain Rich Holman reminded his players that the application and commitment they had shown was exemplary. He added that they would need this application and commitment more than ever in the remaining fixtures so they could end the season with pride.
Cricket Club logoMarlborough secured a dramatic derby day win at Burbage ending the hosts winning start to the season.
Batting first Burbage openers Sourish Mukherjee 39 and David Cope 39 gave the middle order a platform to build on but, after Marlborough all rounder Ben Head got the prized wicket of New Zealander Micheal Papps for 4, Burbage struggled with the bat being bowled out for 150 with Alex Cox 5-28 starring with the ball for Marlborough.
In reply Marlborough also found themselves in trouble with the bat early on but a vital partnership between Bob Homani 61 and Peter Day 17 meant that Marlborough managed to sneak home reaching the required target in the 39th over for the loss of 8 wickets despite the best efforts of Burbage bowler Adam Lavis who finished with 4-48.
Marlborough skipper Tom Norris was a delighted man "it's a great win which gives us confidence we can compete in this league. Cox was the outstanding and a good partnership between Homani and Day steadied the ship after losing early wickets."
Cricket Club logoAfter winning the toss and deciding to bat Marlborough began brightly with Captain Tom Norris 45 and Bradley James 28 enjoying a 70 run opening partnership.
South African Zwelibanzi Homani making his league debut began life for Marlborough with a positive 47 as the visitors reached 225-9 off 50 overs with Cameron Baden 2-70, Daniel Harris 2-33 and Ardil Domingo 2-27 taking 2 wickets apiece for Swindon.
In reply Domingo 62 and Paul Paginton 72 laid the foundations for Swindon as Andrew Staff 27 not out and Liam Tucker 21 not out ensured that Swindon reached their victory target for the loss of 5 wickets with 3 overs to spare with Ben Head 3-22, Will Langton 1-38 and Homani 1-15 taking the wickets for Marlborough.
Despite defeat Norris was keen to focus on the positives for his side" I thought we batted well but were probably 15/20 runs to short, Ben and Harrison Painter bowled brilliantly to get us back into the game and if we can improve by 5 to 10 per cent we will be there or there abouts"
Marlborough PoolYoung people will be able to swim for free again this Easter at Marlborough and Pewsey's leisure centres.
Children aged under 16 can enjoy free swimming until April 5.
They will be able to gain free access to general swim sessions and fun and feature sessions including using the inflatable assault courses.
They do not need to sign up to a membership package for the free swimming, but each leisure centre will retain the right to request proof of age before granting entry. People are advised to arrive early as some sessions can be busy.
The free swim sessions do not include sessions such as aerobics, aqua natal, aqua tots, parent/toddler sessions or children’s swimming lessons.
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.
Marlborough vs Gloucester City Gloucester City win 5-3
Knowing that nothing but a win would help in their desperate battle to stave off relegation, Marlborough made the trip to Gloucester fully focused on the task at hand.
The game started slowly with both teams happy to play the ball around in an attempt to gauge each others weaknesses and with the only real threats to goal from either team following opposition errors.
The game sprang to life when Marlborough took the lead after sharp work down the left hand side led to an opening which debutant Charlie Down steered home from close range.
Buoyed by the goal, Marlborough pressed higher and were soon finding themselves in several excellent attacking situations. The pressure told on Gloucester as Marlborough went 2-0 ahead after captain Rich Holman found himself unmarked at the top of the D and slipped the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper.
With the fist half coming to a close Marlborough seemed to be cruising until a 50/50 decision went Gloucester’s way - leaving Marlborough reduced to ten men for a sin bin offence.
Marlborough’s troubles were doubled when they conceded a questionable goal after an awkward aerial pass – making it 2-1 in Marlborough’s favour at half time.
Gloucester came out for the second half reinvigorated by their goal and soon levelled the scoring with a deft finish on the left hand by line. Now fully in the game and clearly with momentum, Gloucester dominated in all areas and their advantage seemed almost insurmountable after another goal and yet another sin bin offence from Marlborough reduced them to ten men once more.
Marlborough conceded yet another goal as their opponents stretched the game with clever, quick ball movement after a short corner routine.
Marlborough conceded their fifth goal of the game with fifteen minutes remaining as their tired legs could no longer keep up with Gloucester who had exploited their numbers advantage twice during the course of the match.
Matt Osborne scored a short corner to bring some respectability to the score line. Marlborough had held such a dominant position in the first half but once again failed to capitalise on it.
|League - The Davis Wood Hockey League Division - Championship
||Cardiff & UWIC A
||Univ of Exeter C
||Westbury and UB
||Team Bath Buccs B
||Bristol University A