Lost out to last hit

Ottery Crickets 2 (0), Yeovil & Sh’ne (0) 2

It was big town vs little town with South Div 1’s top-placed Yeovil the visitors to Ottery last Saturday, but Crickets’ came within 10 seconds of subjecting their opposition to a rare defeat in a very close-fought hockey match.

Yeovil escaped with a goal in the game’s final attack that saved their blushes and earned a 2-2 draw in an exhilarating game of hockey.

It was 0-0 at half time, the story of the game played out in the second half. Both teams had chances but, it was Yeovil who scored first, scoring after a surging run from inside their opposition’s was converted in a packed D. Yeovil uncompromising approach to the game was almost their undoing. The tide changed when Sheaves was floored following a strong suspicion of hooked trip after he had skilfully by out-manoeuvred a Yeovil midfielder. The result was only a free hit. Within minutes Yeovil were reduced to 10 men – losing a key midfield player and Crickets capitalised almost straight from the restart. Brooker advanced with the ball, passed to Dockley deep on the left bye-line, he advanced into the D beating two defenders on the way, crossed to Bell who finished masterfully from a few yards, 1-0 and game-on.

After this it was all Crickets and their advantage was increased further when Yeovil were reduced to 9 men following another ill-judged tackle. Crickets were able to move the ball accurately and to press high to squeeze the opposition. Crickets’ second came from Matt Ogborne, who had chased lost causes all afternoon; he dispossessed a defender high on the right, advanced and pushed powerfully home from a narrow angle past the stranded keeper to score his first of the season.

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The game was to have one final twist. With Yeovil restored to 11 players, they resumed their brand of skilful hockey. With two minutes to go, Sheaves was yellow carded for an ill-judged comment on an umpiring decision and with 10 men on the field, Crickets conceded from Yeovil’s last hit of the game. A great game of hockey – well judged and executed by an improving Crickets’ team and one which certainly gave their visitors something to remember.

The Men’s 1sts play ECV Hornets at St James’ School, Exeter, pushback @ 1.30pm. Spectators are most welcome.

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Team: Frood, Barbour, Down, Miller, Pursell, Brooker, Dockley, Bell, Sheaves, King, Ogborne.

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