Mansfield at the double as SOHC men wrap up Southern Two title

Sidmouth and Ottery A at home to Okehampton. Ref shsp 08-17TI 7473. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth and Ottery A at home to Okehampton. Ref shsp 08-17TI 7473. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club men’s first team duly sealed the Southern Two title when they won 3-1 at a Plymouth University A side that had started the day sitting second in the table.

The win sees SOHC crowned champions with three games of the regular league season still to be played.

Not for the first time this season, SOHC were involved in a contest of two very different halves!

The champions-elect began the game very well and scored two quick goals.

Nick Mansfield, with a first-time strike on a stray ball in the oppositions D, opened the scoring and then Tom Vanstone marked his debut for the side with a firm ‘slap’ into the students’ net.

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SOHC dominated the remainder of the first half, creating lots of further chances.

However, just one more goal was forthcoming before the break, scored when Jack Ellison reacted swiftly, taking a free hit quickly to bag himself time and space to execute a clinical finish to send SOHC into the break with a 3-0 advantage.

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If the first half had been one of real comfort for the SOHC team and their travelling supporters, then the second half was anything but!

The students adopted a different approach, changed tactics, pressed the ball higher up the pitch and began to force errors in the SOHC ranks.

The new approach from the home side saw them score once, but thereafter the SOHC defence was organised and disciplined and they saw the game out to be able to enjoy post match celebrations of being crowned Southern Two champions.

No doubt greater challenges await next season in a higher division!

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