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MEN'S HOCKEY: North Wilts skipper on cloud nine
“THERE is still more to come from this group of players,” said skipper Tom Wilson after witnessing his North Wilts side demolish West Wilts C 9-0 on Saturday.
If that’s the case, then East Central 1 has an early candidate for top spot come the end of the season, given Wilson’s confidence and that North Wilts have hit 13 unanswered goals in their opening two games.
Against West Wilts, Alex Green returned from suspension to bag the opener following a great pass from Chris Blow.
A string of short corners led to a quickfire hat-trick for Dom Ellis, who finished well after combining with Dan Conneely for each of his goals.
The fifth arrived just before half time, with Max Bartholomew striking another short corner powerfully beyond defender and goalkeeper.
After the interval, matters continued in the same vein and North Wilts’ man of the match Colin Fisher was particularly effective down the flanks on his league debut.
Bartholomew completed his hat-trick with two exceptional finishes, before Ellis added his fourth following sublime close control.
Having started the rout, Green rounded off the scoring with a tremendous strike from the top of the circle.
Swindon are one of two sides in the Premiership with a 100 per cent winning record after they defeated Robinsons 3-2 at Isambard Community School.
The hosts were the more creative from the start and their early efforts were rewarded when they took the lead.
John Scrase beat a couple of defenders as he cut in from the right, before playing a pinpoint pass to the unmarked Luke Cejer, whose shot arrowed into the top corner of the net.
Minutes later the lead was doubled courtesy of Tom Gillingham, who deflected a Jake Biddle short-corner strike over the head of the Robinsons keeper.
Shortly before the break, the visitors pulled a goal back and they piled on the pressure after the resumption.
With more than 10 minutes of the second half played, a penalty corner hit Tom Saunders’ foot on the goal-line and the resulting penalty stroke was expertly despatched to make it 2-2.
Undeterred, Swindon continued to be adventurous and with 12 minutes left they grabbed the winning goal, Jake Biddle firing low into the corner following a well-worked short corner.
In the dying moments, Swindon were forced to defend a number of penalty corners and while Gillingham was binned for a rash tackle late on, the home side held on.
Wootton Bassett surrendered a one-goal lead to eventually lose 2-1 at home to Old Bristolians A in Central 2.
The Lime Kiln side had started slowly but worked their way into the game and took the lead in the 20th minute through Matt Daniell.
But the lead only lasted eight minutes as Old Bristolians found an equaliser.
A quarter of an hour into the second half, the visitors took the lead for the first time and that was how it stayed.
North Wilts A suffered their second successive defeat in East Central 2 as they were sunk 3-0 by visitors Chippenham D.
Two goals in quick succession midway through the first half gave Chippenham a 2-0 lead at half time.
After the break Chippenham converted a well-executed short corner to complete victory.
North Wilts’ best performers were George Bull for his relentless running and Kiran Momi and Anthony French for their tireless work in midfield.