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Sport

Hockey: Marlborough men continue assault on promotion with seventh consecutive win - and a Rich Fynn hat-trick

Mid Somerset       2         Marlborough     5

Marlborough's first team made the journey to Mid Somerset (November 12) knowing it is a venue where they have failed to perform in previous years.

Marlborough set out their game plan to press high to win the ball and attack with speed, this was demonstrated brilliantly with the opening goals scored by the impressive John Berry. The ball was won by Chris Jones who passed to Alex Renwick who in turn moved the ball on to John Berry who drove hard through middle of the pitch, exchanged passes with Rich Fynn and accelerated to deflect the ball in at the back post.

Marlborough's dominance continued through the opening twenty minutes and their lead was extended when Will Hughes won the ball high up the pitch and squared it to Alex Renwick at the top of the circle, he allowed the ball to come across his body and then unleashed on his reverse.

Marlborough's lead was extended to three when they carved open the Mid Somerset defence with some fantastically incisive passing - once again RIch Fynn and John Berry combined in the attacking twenty-five. John Berry carried the ball expertly across his body to draw the final defender in before playing the ball on his reverse across goal for Rich Fynn to deflect past the keeper.

Unfortunately it was not all plain sailing for Marlborough and to their credit Mid Somerset started to come back into the game. Following a poor period of passing from Marlborough, Mid Somerset won the ball and broke to win a short corner. The score was pegged back to 3-1 when their forward fired the ball into the corner of the goal, hitting half way up the sideboard.

Before half time Marlborough were able to restore the three goal cushion when Rich Fynn scored his second of the game. Marlborough transferred the ball well around the back to find Matt Way with space in front of him.

Rhys Davies made an unselfish lead wide to the left wing channel which opened up space for the inside ball to Rich Fynn. The covering defender managed to get a desperate touch on the ball, but a composed Rich Fynn got the ball out from between his feet and flicked it past the advancing keeper for the fourth goal.

The second half was a fairly scrappy affair with Mid Somerset playing a very direct brand of hockey which Marlborough coped with will through their disciplined front marking across the backline.

Unfortunately Marlborough were once again the architects of their own downfall when some sloppy passing in their own half allowed Mid Somerset to win the ball high up the pitch and force another short corner. Once again their forward took aim and found the corner of the goal with pin-point accuracy.

At 4-2 with the momentum against them, Marlborough of previous years might well have found a way to let the opposition back into the game. However this year there is a real belief in the side and they managed to put together a spell of possession which frustrated Mid Somerset as well as physically tiring them out.

From one of these passages of play Marlborough extinguished any hope of a comeback when Rich Fynn completed his hat-trick following an expertly taken deflection from between his feet which left the Mid Somerset keeper no chance.

The last ten minutes of the game petered out without any incident of note and the win now sees Marlborough sitting pretty at the top of the league with maximum points through their first seven games.

It is testament to the high standards being set that despite playing some excellent team hockey throughout the game (and scoring some cracking goals) they were somewhat disappointed that they didn't put the game out of sight earlier.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was rightly awarded to Rich Fynn for his superb work in front of goal.  But a special mention must go to John "I'll put it on a plate for you" Berry for his dynamic work and excellent decision making inside the attack half.

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Hockey: an excellent weekend for Marlborough men - still unbeaten after the season's first six fixtures

Eyes on the ball - a moment of danger in front of the Marlborough goalEyes on the ball - a moment of danger in front of the Marlborough goalMarlborough       5        City of Bath          2

Marlborough extended their 100 per cent record to five games with a comfortable victory over City of Bath (Saturday, November 5.)

The team welcomed Will Radnedge back to the team following his endeavours in the Under 18 Futures Cup last week, reaching the final and scoring a goal in the process was a fantastic achievement.

Marlborough started the game brightly, moving the ball well and looking to create space high up the pitch. The opening goal was created when Chris Jones won the ball just inside the Marlborough half before playing a series of passes down the right hand side of the pitch. This interchange of passing resulting in John Berry finding space inside the circle to fire the ball into the goal form a narrow angle.

Marlborough continued to control the first half and extended their lead when Rhys Davies lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper.

CIty of Bath did pose a threat on the break, all of their play coming from their defender either looking to carry the ball aggressively through the pitch or aerial the ball into space for his forwards. Marlborough defended the situation well, finding themselves under the ball on numerous occasions to win possession back.

A Marlborough shot just goes wide A Marlborough shot just goes wide   Stern words...Stern words...

Towards the end of the half, a City of Bath player was given a Green Card following a series of clumsy tackles, culminating in what can only be described as an 'Axe-chop' as captain Anil Sud cleverly lifted the ball into space outside their circle. Marlborough made it three when some quick thinking after a long corner, Will Radnedge found space to fire the ball into the net.

Marlborough continued to play the better hockey throughout the second half, working the ball well from half-backs into the middle of the pitch and building form there. This patient play was rewarded when Will Radnedge doubled his tally by turning the ball in at the back post.

At 4-0 up Marlborough seemed to lose some focus and allowed the opposition back into the game. City of Bath scored when a free hit awarded just outside the 25 was crashed into the circle by their defender. The ball took an unfortunate touch off a Marlborough stick leaving Brian Marnane no chance.

City of Bath continued to press forward and their 'Hero ball' brand of hockey was rewarded when the very same defender eventually managed to escape numerous Marlborough challenges. He carried the ball well through four Marlborough players and fired the ball into the roof of the net from the top of the circle.

This seemed to rally Marlborough back to their best hockey- they began to move the ball with more pace and managed to advance the ball forward to create several scoring opportunities, the game was eventually put to bed when Will Hughes received the ball with his back to goal, span onto his strong side and played the ball into the far corner of the goal.

Marlborough were pleased with the result, played some excellent hockey and scored some cracking team goals.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Rich Holman for some extremely composed defending.

 

Bristol University B      1        Marlborough      2


Marlborough continued their push for promotion by picking up a valuable away win over fellow high flyers Bristol University B (Sunday, November 6.)

Marlborough's fifteen man squad made the familiar drive along the M4 knowing the match would be very different from the day before where all of the opposition's play came from a single player.

The game started with both teams showing each other respect but Bristol Uni making the better of the play with neat interchanges of passing. During the opening spell Brian Marnane was forced into a couple of reaction saves which kept the game level.  Marlborough began to grow into the game, but were just unable to connect with the final pass.

Half time arrived with the scores level and the game flowing well from end to end. At half time Marlborough made a tactical shift in their press to force the Bristol Uni defenders into playing higher risk passes in the hope of creating more turnovers. This plan worked well.

Unfortunately Marlborough fell behind when they lost concentration at a free hit just outside their circle, a lack of communication meant that no-one defended the route to goal and the Bristol forward was able to convert an uncontested shot from the edge of the circle.

Marlborough didn't let this moment dampen their spirits and began to press higher up the pitch, it was from one of these situations that Marlborough were able to draw level.   Matt Way started the move by throwing a cross-field aerial from a sideline hit to allow Rich Holman space to take the ball forward,  

The initial ball into the circle has half stopped but Anil Sud managed to pounce onto the loose ball and play it forward to the P spot where Matt Way was now waiting. He held off his defender, rolled onto his strong side and slipped the ball past the onrushing keeper.

Marlborough felt a real shift in momentum and fully believed that all three points were there to be won. They were proved right when a nice interchange of passing down the right hand side of the pitch allowed the ball to be played into the circle. As the ball came across it was redirected towards the back post where it was gratefully finished off by Mark Kinder.

Marlborough closed the game out without any further scares and now sit clear at the top of the table with six wins from six games.  It was an enjoyable game between well matched teams and played in good spirits throughout.

Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was shared by Freddie Hazlitt and Matt Way with Freddie Hazlitt winning on the re-vote for his excellent link play in only his second game for the first team.

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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: 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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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough triumph in close and entertaining match at home to Blandford

Marlborough 17 - 15 Blandford

Marlborough won a closely fought and entertaining game to maintain their unbeaten league run.  

The early phases saw the away team putting the pressure on, but a good break out by outside half James Farrell put his team on the attack.  He kicked ahead and the kick stopped just short of the line, the Blandford defender fumbled the ball and Russ Westcott pounced on the loose ball to score the try.  It was unconverted.

Blandford responded with a penalty.  The game was tight and both sides were defending well.  A number of handling errors by both teams were also causing breakdowns.  The half ended 5-3.

The second half saw the Blandford full back showing excellent kicking form to put over a further 3 penalties due to some quick decisions by the ref at rucks.  The visitors certainly had their tails up and were leading 12-5.

An altercation at a ruck meant both sides had players sin binned.  The influential Farrell for the home team looked to be the bigger loss.  

As the away team tried to launch another attack, a looping pass was intercepted by James Clancy who was able to run in 50 metres to score under the posts and convert his own try.  The scores were once again even.

Marlborough quickly went on the attack again and good handling skills by prop Feiloaki Ngungutau led to a break by Waisale Navunidakua, he burst through the defence and set up full back Garth Bari to score out wide.

Scores were now 17-12.  Blandford were not done though and attacked again, Marlborough captain Jack Lynd was sin binned for obstruction as Blandford looked to attack.  They took the penalty and scored, 17-15.

A tense few minutes were in store, as the game entered the final moments, First Marlborough had a penalty opportunity that was missed and then right at the end Blandford again won a penalty, but their kicker also missed and the game ended 17-15.

It was a tight game that could have gone either way and great credit to the visitors but a strong team performance from Marlborough to keep up their run.

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough maintain unbeaten start to season with narrow win over Walcot

Walcot 17 - 22 Marlborough

Marlborough kept up their unbeaten start to their league campaign with a hard fought away win against Walcot.

A number of late drop outs, injuries and a suspension meant the team were short of a few regulars.  The starting team knew they were in for a tough afternoon.

The early exchanges saw Walcot on top at the set piece as Marlborough tried to find their rhythm.  Walcot took an early lead with a penalty before missing two more efforts.  Marlborough also missed a penalty opportunity.

With the home team forwards starting really well, the visitors looked to use their exciting back line to attack, a loose ball was picked up by Waisale Navunidakua who surged forward and set up winger Ratu Vuira.  The pacy winger was clear, out ran the defence and scored under the posts.  Garth Bari converted.

The pattern of the half continued with Walcot making some good hard yards and Marlborough keeping a high tempo looking to break out.  Walcot could have scored in the corner but for a try saving tackle by Will Turner.  As half time approached a good line out ball was by Matt Hamblin near the half way line, Will Grant span it out to Amori Nailago who beat the initial line of defenders and ran clear.  The Walcot chasing defenders managed to tackle him but Nailago was over the line and grounded the ball.  The conversion was missed and a half time score of 12-3.

At half time coach and prop Chris Budgen, urged his men to be patient and cut out the silly mistakes.  However, just after the half was started Marlborough suffered a yellow card for a swinging arm.  With a man advantage Walcot scored a converted try and got the score back to 12-10.

From the restart the visitors won a penalty but Bari's effort came back off the post.  The visitors kept up the pressure and stayed in their opponent's half.  From slow line out ball, Nailago set up his centres and Navunidakua broke to again put Vuira in space.  He beat the defenders and again scored under the posts.  Bari converted for 19-10.

The game then entered a tense final phase, an altercation between a number of players resulted in both teams being reduced to 14 men for ten minutes.  With both teams reduced to 7 in the scrum, Walcot took advantage of a big blind side to break and score a converted try.

The home team sensed a late victory but with time running out it was Marlborough who were on the attack. O ne penalty attempt was missed but a few minutes later another attempt was scored by Bari for 22-17 and shortly after the full time whistle went.

Next week sees a home game against Blandford and hopefully a few returning players

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Marlborough Rugby: Marlborough's unbeaten run continues with convincing away victory over Combe Down

Combe Down 7 - 33 Marlborough

The early phases of the game saw mistakes by both sides but the visitors were pressing and had spurned a couple of chances including a knock over the try line.  After 16 mins the ball broke loose at a ruck and flanker Inosi Laqekoro quickly gathered the ball, he drew the defender and put an inside pass to James Farrell who ran in and made sure of the touch down. James Clancy converted the try.

Combe Down missed a penalty opportunity before Marlborough got back on the attack and started to put some good phases together.  Farrell span a good pass out ot outside half Amori Nailago who dummied and stepped to beat the defensive line and run in and score. Another great try from Nailago this season and a player who will be missed by the club when he is posted to Cyprus. Clancy again converted.

As half time got near, Farrell again fed Nailago who this time made a blindside break and put in a good pass to Clancy who drew the full back and passed to wing Will Grant to score in the corner.  Again Clancy converted. Half time score 21-0.

The second half saw the temperature drop.  The home side were determined to get back into the game and apply some pressure.  This was helped by Marlborough trying to run the ball from everywhere. One such occasion saw Clancy isolated at a ruck and when the ball was lost, Combe Down moved the ball quickly and their flanker broke down the blind side to score a converted try.

Coach Chris Budgen urged his men to show more discipline and execute at the right times.  Marlborough tightened up their play and it was Combe Down who made a mistake in over throwing at a lineout Semisi Rasivo gathered the loose ball to make a charge up field.  Farrell was in support and took the ball to score under the posts.

Clancy converted. Farrell completed his hat trick when he robbed the ball off his opposite number at a scrum to break from the half way and run half the pitch to score.  Clancy missed the conversion for a 33-7 score line.

Another good win for Marlborough that was only marred by injuries to Josh Lynd (knee) and to Epeli Kotobalavu (eye) who had made a great debut performance.

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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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Football: Swindon Spitfires soar in 6-3 win against Marlborough Ladies

Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town LadiesSwindon Spitfires 6 Marlborough Town Ladies 3

Marlborough Town Ladies struggled in a 6-3 defeat against old rivals Swindon Spitfires on Sunday.

They began well, but were unable to maintain focus and discipline for the full 90 minutes.

Against a team as well-experienced as Spitfires, this cost them goals and ultimately, the game.

Despite the loss, there was some positive play from the ladies.

It was only a couple of minutes into the game when Dani Hull made a run down the left wing and scored.

Marlborough were spurred on by their early goal and played great football for the next twenty minutes. Unfortunately, a couple moments of tiredness and lack of concentration, resulted in two goals from the Spitfires, before the half was up.

Marlborough had a huge mountain to climb.

They worked hard and managed two great goals from Emily Bogg and Ffion Williams, but they couldn't bring the game back.

Marlborough's goalie, Robyn Hill, worked tirelessly to keep the Swindon strikers at bay. She made some amazing saves but was unable to stop all of the shots on target.

In the end, Swindon won the game with six skilful and well-worked goals.

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Football: Marlborough Ladies lose to old foes in first cup tie

Marlborough Town Ladies 2016 17Marlborough Town Ladies 2016 17Marlborough Town Ladies 1 Trowbridge Town Ladies 3

The first cup game of the season on Sunday, and Marlborough Town Ladies were fired up. Although the opponent was Trowbridge Town, who had beaten them twice previously, Marlborough wanted to prove themselves as a difficult team to face.

They did just that.

The final result was a 3-1 loss but Marlborough played a physical and disciplined game for 90 minutes. The defence was consistent, the midfield hard-working and the strikers eager. They played as a unit, passing the ball well and keeping possession.

It was nil-nil until the beginning of the second half when a simple mistake led to a Trowbridge goal.

It was only a matter of minutes that it was followed up with a great run down the left wing by Dani Hull. She crossed it into the goal mouth where Emma Brown wrestled against Trowbridge bodies and knocked the ball into the back of the net with her left foot.

Marlborough continued to work hard but Trowbridge were able to get another two goals in the second half.

Despite this, Marlborough could be proud of their efforts. They played well as a team for the full game and they finished it with congratulations from their coaches and even their opponents for the great spirit shown throughout.

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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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