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HOCKEY: North beats West in Wilts county battle
NORTH Wilts’ drive to secure promotion back to Central 2 continued to gather pace as they defeated West Wilts C 4-2 in East Central 1.
The league leaders - who now have Cystic Fibrosis Trust emblazoned on their shirts after not securing a sponsor - are seven points clear at the top following the 1-1 draw between nearest rivals City of Bath A and Chippenham A.
North wasted a number of opportunities early on but took the lead from a long corner.
George Bull passed back to central defender Chris Blow and he fired hard into the circle, with the ball deflected into the back of the net by a visiting player.
However, the game then descended into a scrappy affair and West equalised courtesy of a smooth short corner routine.
Following stern words from goalkeeper Neil Smith at half-time, North regained the advantage through Jim Towers, whose shot deflected over the goalkeeper.
The complaints of a West player over the legality of the goal resulted in him being green-carded.
Despite the double setback, West recovered once more and another short corner resulted in them levelling again.
The home lead was restored when Towers drove into the circle and his miscued shot bobbled through to striker Darran Cragg, who controlled and converted.
North made sure of the win shortly afterwards as Towers found Cragg and he fired into the circle for Darren Hillier to finish first-time.
In the Premiership, struggling Swindon’s early advantage against Robinsons proved a false dawn as they were beaten 5-1 in Bristol.
Striker Tom Gillingham finished confidently from close range following good build-up play from Chris Parsons and John Scrase, but that was as good as it got for the Isambard side.
Two quick goals put Robinsons 2-1 up at half-time and it could have been more had they made more of several penalty corners.
Robinsons they kept the pressure on after the break, but Swindon fought gamely and 17-year-old Lewis Dyer impressed particularly at right-back.
More penalty corners were dealt with and goalkeeper Alan Gough made several decent saves, only for the hosts’ quality to shine through.
Robinsons scored three times courtesy of a penalty flick and an open-play rocket, before a deflected penalty corner rounded off the win in the closing stages.
In Central 2, Wootton Bassett remain rooted to the bottom of the table following a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Old Bristolians A.
Ten-man North Wilts A were defeated 2-1 at Chippenham D in East Central 2.
After a quarter of an hour the hosts took the lead, but soon after Harpal Momi smashed a low pass towards the far post and Kiran Momi directed home.
Midway through the second half, Chippenham got their winner.