Ottery Crickets firing on all cylinders

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:44 18 June 2010

This fixture pitted two of the table topping teams from the N4 Financial Solutions sponsored South Division 1 and a close encounter seemed to be on the cards.

Ottery Crickets 4, ECVH A 1

This fixture pitted two of the table topping teams from the N4 Financial Solutions sponsored South Division 1 and a close encounter seemed to be on the cards.

However, Ottery were in dominant form throughout and gave their visitors little room to express themselves. They were unable to turn territorial advantage into goals and it was ECVH who opened the scoring towards the end of the first half. The introduction of the inspirational Nick Doman saw him equalise as half time came.

Crickets came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and soon took a 2-1 lead through Matt Kirk after good work from Nick Doman and Will Ellison cut open the Hornets' defence.

Kirk added his second and Jack Pritchard, having terrorised the Hornets' defence with some sublime touches all afternoon, added the fourth to cap off a fine team performance to leave Crickets joint top with Taunton Vale.

Bridgwater A 0, Ottery Crickets A 0

On another perfect, sunny day for hockey, the 2nds started the brightest under the captaincy of Jon Dutton.

They effectively snuffed out any meaningful threat through the experience and skill of their defence men - Tom Dutton, Nigel Dupain, and newcomers Olly Tallowin and Ben Garnett.

Crickets looked good going forward in the early stages and they were able to retain possession well and set up several open goal opportunities. Matt Sheaves used his skill to set up a solo effort which he blasted onto the crossbar from the right. Crickets eventually had the ball in the net after a follow up shot to Archie Fraser's penalty corner, but the goal was judged illegal. There were several other attempts, but, as the half came to a close, Crickets started to rely on individual effort rather than collective team play.

Crickets were reminded of the game plan at half time and implemented it the second half.

As in the first half, their build up play flowed, but they lacked movement, composure and quality to make anything of it in the final third. Their last ball into the D was generally poor and they failed to make any serious attempt at goal, including a handful of penalty corner opportunities.

As the game entered the final quarter, both teams became increasingly edgy. Ottery pressed, and Bridgwater, who had been the more vociferous through the game, had a player yellow carded for cynical trip on Tom Down when he was bearing down on the opponents' 22m.

More bad-tempered and ugly situations followed, but Crickets' young team, to their great credit, failed to be intimidated and retained their discipline throughout.


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