HOCKEY: Deadlock for North Wilts

NORTH Wilts drew a blank for the first time this season as they played out a goalless stalemate with City of Bath A in Davis Wood Hockey League East Central 1 on Saturday.

Neither side were able to retain possession for significant periods of time during a scrappy contest, and if anything Bath were more deserving of victory.

However, Neil Smith in the North Wilts goal produced a superb performance to keep his team level.

Discipline became an issue in the second half of the visitors, with Wilts playing most of the period a man light.

Despite this, they continued to pose a threat sporadically and performed well defensively; limiting Bath to just a few opportunities and maintaining their record of having not conceded in the league thus far.

A different challenge awaits this weekend, with the visit of West Wilts B to Dorcan.

Elsewhere in East Central 1, Chippenham A beat Yate 6-1, Marlborough B drew 1-1 with City of Bath B, Chippenham B slipped up 4-1 at Team Bath Buccs F, West Wilts saw off Swindon B 4-0 and Wootton Bassett A smashed West Wilts C 8-2.

North Wilts 2nds also remain unbeaten after they claimed a second win of the season, 2-0 against Devizes A.

Wilts’ victory came courtesy of two first half goals; one from midfielder Tony French and another from Kiran Momi on the break. It was Momi’s fifth of the season.

The North Wilts second-string make the trip to West Wilts D this week and will be hoping to extend their unbeaten streak to four games.

Elsewhere in the division, Chippenham D edged out Team Bath Buccs G 1-0, West Wilts D won 8-2 at Swindon C and West Wilts E and Wootton Bassett shared six goals in a 3-3 draw.

In the ladies section, North Wilts 2nds thrashed Wick 2nds 4-0 in West Clubs Women’s Hockey League Berkeley Division 3..

The hosts came out strongly and stayed in the ascendancy throughout the duration of the game.

Beth Lloyd and Robin Mathews formed a formidable pairing up front, keeping the ball in the opposition’s D, leading to several short corners.

Bethan Emmerson set up the opening goal of the game when she received a short corner and passed to Pixie Bickell, who had to simply deflect the ball home.

With 10 minutes left of the first half, the home side doubled their advantage.

Debbie Gorrard was this time the architect, picking out Aimee Mollart who found the back of the net to send Wilts into half-time two goals to the good.

Wick imposed themselves on the game in the second period, and enjoyed the majority of the possession, but it was without reward.

And instead, Wilts went down the other end and grabbed a third.

Gaby Bicknell produced a stunning solo effort, nicking the ball in midfield, easing past three tacklers, drawing the goalkeeper and firing into the left-hand corner.

To cap a fine performance, the hosts added a fourth late on.

Gorrard, Mathews and Emmerson combined in a neat, fluent passing move to tee up Lloyd, who thrashed home to complete a brilliant afternoon for Wilts.

  • SWINDON Ladies had an afternoon to forget at Newent, going down 4-0 in Premier Division 2A of the West Clubs Women’s Hockey League.

It was a frustrating match for the visitors, during which they struggled to find a killer touch in front of goal but their hosts did.

Lindsey Wall came close to scoring twice for Swindon but fired just wide and Beth George almost converted from close range, but the away side still found themselves behind at the break as Newent scored from a penalty corner.

Swindon started the second half confident of pulling themselves back into the contest, but those hopes were soon dashed when Newent grabbed two goals in quick succession from attacks that originated down the right.

Ella Caldwell, making her debut for the first team, cleared a Newent shot off the line but the hosts pushed on and grabbed a fourth to wrap up victory.

This Saturday, Swindon will be looking for an instant reaction as they face Lansdown at home.

Elsewhere in the division last weekend, Chippenham spanked Cirencester 10-3.

Swindon Ladies second-string enjoyed a much better day, seeing off Devizes 6-0 in Wessex Division 2, with goals from Charlotte Bunce, captain Lou Siddorn, Sue Roberts and a hat-trick from Kim Taylor.

Elsewhere, Chippenham 3rds were beaten 2-0 at home by Marlborough 2nds, Melksham 2nds saw off Chippenham 4ths 2-0 and Wootton Bassett 3rds won 1-0 at West Wilts 3rds.

In Wessex Division 1, Marlborough beat Frome 2nds 8-0, Melksham and Chippenham 2nds drew 1-1 and Wootton Bassett 3rds enjoyed a 3-1 victory over West Wilts 2nds.

Swindon’s men beat the University of Exeter B 4-3 in a Davis Wood Hockey League Premiership thriller.

Matt Salmon was first on the scoresheet for Swindon midway through the first half. His quick turn and shot took a deflection off a defender nestled in the back of the net. Swindon extended their lead minutes later through Luke Cejer and took their two-goal advantage into half-time.

In the early stages of the second period, the Swindon defence soaked up a sustained spell of Exeter pressure before Matt Salmon smashed the hosts further in front. But nothing is ever easy with Swindon this season, and somehow Exeter got themselves back into the game with three late goals to tie the scores with just four minutes remaining.

However, there was still time for the home side to snatch a winner, and Cejer provided the clinical finish in the final 60 seconds. Next week Swindon travel to struggling Taunton Vale.

In the Championship, Marlborough won 3-1 at Bristol University A. Cirencester slipped up by the same scoreline at home to Wooton-under-Edge in De Cymru & The Marches 1.

In Central 2, Marlborough A won 4-1 on the road at Bristolians A, Swindon A were hammered 5-0 by Robinsons B and West Wilts A beat Team Bath Buccs 6-2.

The all-Cirencester clash in The Marches 1 ended all square between the club’s A and B teams. The Ciren C side lost 7-0 at Winchcombe in The Marches 2.

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