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Mixed fortunes for hockey ladies
2:00pm Sunday 17th February 2013 in Sport
BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club ladies had mixed fortunes in a double header weekend of league action.
Last Saturday’s home fixture against Richmond started brightly, with Fi Holdcroft almost finding the net after five minutes, only to be denied by the Richmond goalkeeper’s helmet.
The hosts kept up the pressure and were rewarded with an opener soon after as a strong move up the left wing fed Holdcroft to slot home.
Basingstoke doubled their lead later in the first-half thanks to Sarah Lucas’s ferocious short corner strike. More chances came before the break but neither side could quite find the opening.
The visitors upped their game in the second-half and were rewarded with numerous short corners, but goal-line defending from Ruth Crawford and Steph Hazell secured the clean sheet and a 2-0 win.
On Sunday, Basingstoke travelled to Trojans and the sides stayed locked at level pegging until just before the break, when the hosts converted a short corner with a neat deflection.
Despite winning a number of short corners and gaining most of the possession, Basingstoke were unable to capitalise as they lost 1-0.
The seconds hosted a young Southampton University side and were quickly out of the blocks, creating space on the right wing for Julia Burnett to feed Sarah Mainprise to open the scoring.
The visitors were unable to break through the home side’s defence in open play, but two penalty corners saw them lead 2-1. Despite promising play from Basingstoke, Southampton netted again for a 3-1 victory.
The thirds slipped to a 7-2 defeat as they took on table-topping hosts Aldershot and Farnham. Basingstoke twice levelled through Frankie Tierney and Jenny Rust, but Aldershot showed their class and ran out convincing winners.
The fours slipped two goals behind in the first-half of their game against Trojans. A strong second-half performance saw Basingstoke narrow the deficit thanks to Miranda Smith’s penalty flick, but they were unable to find the equaliser.
The men were in action at Dulwich as they beat HAC 5-1.
The visitors took an early lead from Clinton Douglass before HAC equalised. The hosts’ goalkeeper then floored David Stones in the D and Alan Jacobs despatched the penalty.
The second-half was broken up by yellow cards on both sides, but Basingstoke dominated as David Stones, Danny Bowden and Ben Shaughnessy all scored.
The second XI pulled out another promising performance with a 2-2 draw against visiting Gosport. The away side went ahead courtesy of an excellent reverse stick effort, but Basingstoke responded as a good team move freed Paul Handley to equalise from the narrowest angle.
Gosport again took the lead, this time through a penalty corner, but the home side were able to level thanks to a brilliant reverse stick strike from Jacques Lourens.
The thirds travelled to Fareham with focus and drive, and combined confident passing play with an effective press to secure a 4-2 away win. Two goals from man-of-the-match Will Calhoun, plus one each for Gordon Howard and Dave Easterbrook sealed the deal.
The fourths dominated the first-half against visiting Havant VI and took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of Phil Stewart’s penalty corner strike.
After a quick equaliser, the home side responded with a swift break and Neil Skidmore slotted past the goalkeeper. The game looked won, until Havant netted late to clinch a 2-2 draw.
The Vets followed the first team to Dulwich for a physical battle with HAC Veterans. Chris Instone scored Basingstoke’s winner five minutes from time.