HOCKEY:Mixed fortunes for veteran teams away

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It was a different story for Jersey Hockey Club Veterans, who played the City of Bath, as they were knocked out of the competition on penalty flicks after the sharing six goals.OV Veterans 2, West Gloucester 1: With the Gloucester side declining to travel to the Channel Islands – as is their right under HA rules – the match was played in Southampton.It was Mick Millar who scored both the OV goals, although the Jersey players were on the back foot for the the first few minutes.

It did not take long for them to realise that their pace and lateral movement in attack was going to cause the Bristol side problemsAfter only nine minutes OVs took the lead following a smart move down the right flank which involved Richard Sugden, Richard Le Lièvre, Mike Tait and Tim Herbert, a cross found Millar who smashed the ball high into the net.Following the fillip of a goal OVs had an excellent period; solid and untroubled at the back and fluent going forward with Millar, Herbert and Nigel de Carteret all having decent opportunities to increase the lead but thwarted by Drew in the West Glos goal.A single goal lead at half time meant there was still a lot of hard work to do.

West Gloucester had played five games unbeaten this season and Neil Sykes and Gary Morton began to make a number of incisive runs, but Mattie Sutton and Dominic Pallot at the heart of the OV defence were coolness personified.A series of short corners, however, one of which was deflected onto the crossbar, showed the W Glos intent.In goal, Mike Labey made a number of timely clearances and Ian Taylor, Peter Harris and Andy Arthur harried tirelessly to repel the opposition’s attacks.

Despite being the fitter side, the OVs were stretched at times and it came as no surprise when a sustained period of pressure led to an equaliser scored by Sykes with six minutes to go.To their creadit, OVs rallied and just two minutes from time, Millar proved the hero by finishing unerringly from four yards out.The OVs ran out the clock to avoid the lottery of penalty flicks which would have decided the game had it finished level.It was without doubt a first class team performance against spirited opposition and sees the Old Victorians through into the second round where they meet Milton Keynes on 23 November.OV Veterans: Mike Labey (GK), Richard Sugden, Ian Taylor, Matthew Sutton, Dominic Pallot, Andrew Arthur, Mike Tait, Richard Le Lièvre, Peter Harris, Mick Millar, Tim Herbert (capt), Nigel de Carteret.City of Bath Hockey Club 3, Jersey Hockey Club Veterans 3, (Bath won 4-3 on penalties): JHC were a ten-man team throughout, due to Rob Hurry, a key member of the team, dropping out on Saturday evening.

However, the Jersey team responded well and few of their opponents realised that they were just ten until after the match, which Jersey finally lost on penalty strokes.JHC dominated the first half, scoring midway through after a well-worked passage of play down the right found Nick Taylor, who crossed the ball for Malcolm Banahan to take into the D, and Peter Taylor to score.Bath came back within a minute with a long ball picked up by their winger who scored.

Less than five minutes later Bath scored their second.Despite that Jersey dominated the half, winning a dozen or so penalty corners, and the equaliser came from one of these, with Banahan finding the net.Jersey once again dominated in the second half, with Conrad Evans, Peter Taylor and Richard de Figueiredo controlling the centre of the park.Bath went ahead again early on when a speculative pass was deflected across the D for the left wing to slot home from two feet.Jersey continued to push ahead, again winning a number of penalty corners and Banahan was unlucky not to win two penalty strokes, one for a deliberate foul by the Bath ‘keeper.Bath won their only penalty corner of the game midway into the second half, and nearly went further ahead, only Ralph Nicolls preventing the goal by a brilliant goal line deflection.Jersey’s equaliser came from a fine individual display by Peter Taylor, who took the ball from the half way line to the top of the D where he smashed it past the ‘keeper.

The game ended 3-3.With no ‘golden goal’ ruling in the competition, it went straight to penalty flicks with Bath wining 4-3.The JHC 10-man team can consider themselves unlucky to lose.

They created many chances, finding the post on two occasions, and were denied penalty chances.

In the end, Bath managed only four shots on target, and scored with three of these.

Bath now play Lewes next month.

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