SOHC men's 1st XI bag weekend win double as Southern One title race hots up

PUBLISHED: 12:56 28 February 2019

Archant

The final weekend of February proved to be an exceptional one for the Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club (SOHC) men's 1st XI.

The side played back-to-back Southern One matches – both in Plymouth – and followed up a Saturday 4-2 win at University with a Sunday 4-1 win at Marjon B.

The upshot of the two wins was that it all made for a superb weekend for SOHC.

The reason for that was the six points they banked, together with a fifth defeat of the season for a Taunton Vale A side that had been sitting top of the table before the start of the Saturday matches. SOHC are now top, two points clear and both they and Taunton Vale have four matches left in their respective campaigns.

They are set to meet on the last matchday of the league season – Saturday, March 23 – when SOHC travel up the M5 to face Taunton Vale! What made the win at University all the more impressive was that at half-time, SOHC trailed 2-0!

However, a wonderful all-round second-half performance turned the game on its head.

Goals from Nick Mansfield, George Powell and an own goal saw SOHC to the points.

The following day, back in Plymouth to face Marjons, the 1st XI shook off ‘tired legs’ and played with real control, keeping possession well and, when a chance presented itself to Jack Ellison, he applied a clinical finish for the side to lead 1-0 at half-time.

Early second-half goals from Nick Mansfield and a second from Ellison were answered by a home goal – the ball being drilled between SOHC goalkeeper Simon Baker’s legs. The points were made safe, though, when Treave Harris broke down the right and crossed for Eddie Rudolph to score game’s fifth and final goal and round-off a splendid weekend for the team.

The first of those remaining four games for SOHC comes tomorrow (Saturday) when they entertain Torbay at Sidmouth (1.30pm). When the pair met in South Devon back in November, the game ended 1-1.

Tomorrow also sees Taunton Vale in action – they travel to fifth placed Okehampton.

The remaining matches for SOHC men’s 1st XI and Taunton Vale A

March 2: SOHC H v Torbay and Taunton Vale A at Okehampton.

March 9: SOHC A v Dart and Taunton Vale H v Plymouth Marjon

March 16: SOHC A v East Devon and Taunton Vale A at Tavistock

March 23: Taunton Vale versus SOHC.

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