Hockey:Convicts and Gobis steam on towards title

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Senior Cup: Victoria College 1st XI 5, Hautlieu HC 3: The College players were aware that this was going to be a tough match, especially as it was the first game back after the Christmas holidays and there had been no time to do any sort of training.

The Hautlieu team got off to a good start, the College being caught on the break and having to make a covering tackle which resulted in a well-struck short corner.

College then started to pick up their game, and some good crosses were put in by Richard White but none converted.

Eventually VC got a well-deserved short corner, which was converted by Tom Minty from a drag flick.The Maguire brothers instantly put the pressure on but College managed to hold them off and Sam Dewhurst put the College 2-1 up with a great strike from the top of the D.

The second half saw a vast improvement in the standard of play from both teams, with another well-struck short corner from each and some great attacking runs from the Maguires, and White and Dewhurst.Minty then converted another short corner flick and Greg Sevant swept in the fifth for the College.Scorers: VC Tom Minty (two), Sam Dewhurst, Greg Sevant, James Hillman.

Hautlieu: Adam Smith (two), Luke Maguire.JHC Gobis 12, OV Veterans 1: In the second round of the Cup OV Veterans put up a brave show against JHC Gobis although the result was in little in doubt.Most of the game was played in the Vets’ half of the pitch with Gobis looking for ways to unlock the defence.

This proved difficult with the sheer number of people in and around the goal area, with the result that the first twenty minutes’ play was very untidy.

Gobis did score in this period but both goals were relatively scrappy with little owing to good hockey.After this start Gobis started to try and move the ball about the pitch and stretch the Vets’ defence away from their goal area.

This produced some much better hockey, with Ali Hall rounding off one particular move that saw Gobis retain possession for a long spell before exploiting the space created in the D.The pattern was similar after the break with Gobis using Simon Watling and Ed Daubeney to pivot the play across the pitch, with constant movement within the D creating the shooting opportunity.At times, over-indulgence on the ball allowed Vets to gain possession and they were able to create a few chances on the break.

Mick Millar benefited from one of these breaks, rounding Gobis’ ‘keeper and scoring a goal for Vets, just reward for their efforts.Scorers: JHC Gobis: Ed Lewis, Stuart Ramskill (two), Bob Langly-Smith, Ali Hall (three), Simon Watling, Ed Daubeney, Matt Banahan, David Hall, Rob Hurry.

Veterans: Mick Millar.Evolution OV Convicts 8, OV Victims 2: Convicts started well in this Senior Cup quarter-final and took an early lead when Jon Cartmell converted a slick, sweeping move which covered the length of the pitch.

After a number of fine saves by the impressive Roger Le Maistre in the Victims’ goal, Rich Finch added two further goals for Convicts, one a brilliant individual effort, to avoid the nervous first-halves that Convicts have experienced in their previous two games.To their credit, Victims continued to battle with Ross Collins and Sean O’Flaherty, in particular, causing Convicts problems on the break, and eventually pulled a goal back through Mike James from a penalty corner.But Convicts had extended their lead to five goals by the middle of the second half following a second goal from Cartmell and a well-taken goal from James O’Gara.

As the game became stretched, O’Flaherty scored a further consolation goal on the break for Victims before Finch, from the penalty spot, and Robin Le Quesne, with an excellent early strike from the top of the circle, completed an 8-2 victory for the Convicts to take them into a cup semi-final clash against JHC Thornbacks.

JHC Thornbacks 2, JHC Ormers 2 (Thornbacks win 4-2 on penalties): Of the two Hockey Club sides, the older Thornbacks started slowly and it was obvious that they had not recovered from their Christmas excesses!Ormers were first on the score sheet after the Thornbacks’ captain brought himself on at right back but neglected to try anything resembling defending.However, Thornbacks were always a handful going forward, and had it not been for some magnificent defending from Stuart Fox, Richard Determeyer may have scored a hatful.Adrian Heelis reduced the deficit with a skilful shuffle into the D, only to be up-ended by the Ormers ‘keeper.

Heelis duly converted the resulting penalty stroke.In the second half Ormers again took the lead with a good goal from a short corner.

But an inspired move from the Thornbacks, involving Arran Eagar and Peter Taylor, resulted in a truly epic goal which would not be out of place in a world cup match.The last 15 minutes saw the resurgent Thornbacks putting pressure on the Ormers’ goal, but were denied by superb keeping from Paul Duckworth.A draw at full time meant the match was down to the dreaded penalty flicks – and Thornbacks capitalised when ‘keeper Simon Hewlett saved and Conrad Evans slotted home the final penalty.Division II: Victoria College 2nd XI 3, Crusaders 5: Victoria College started very positively and went into the lead after ten minutes with Sevant driving into Crusaders’ D and scoring an excellent goal in the bottom corner.This seemed to wake up the Crusaders and they quickly equalised when Simon Garton pushed the ball past Chris Nurse in the VC goal after the ‘keeper had made two good saves.Crusaders then started to control the game and after about 15 minutes of concerted pressure they scored a second through Stuart Richford after some excellent passing moves.

For the rest of the half the play was very even.

Tom Luce scored for the College from a quick break down the centre of the pitch but this was soon followed by a third goal for Crusaders, by Paul Le Bihan.

With only seconds to go before half-time, Crusaders turned defence into attack down the right wing to give Garton his second goal.Crusaders seemed relax a little after the break while the College put a lot of pressure on the Crusaders’ goal.

But their defence held firm, with Tim Kearsey blocking a lot of the College’s attacks.

Despite this pressure, College were unable to score and eventually a Crusaders attack resulted in a short corner being awarded from which Le Bihan scored his second goal.Although 5- 2 down, College continued to push forward and eventually Jack Luce dribbled through the Crusaders’ defence and passed the ball to brother Tom, who pushed it into the goal for the final score.Umpires: Graeme Bennett, Ian Simpson.

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