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Basingstoke Hockey Club enjoy goals galore
10:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club stormed through their pre-season friendlies with a series of dramatic high-scoring thrillers, writes Ian Watson.
The men’s first XI netted five times in their away clash with Henley, but the hosts met the challenge to claim a draw.
Henley took an early lead after a sloppy start from Basingstoke, converting a penalty corner.
Basingstoke soon made it 1-1, Dan Bowden with a hard strike through the Henley keeper’s legs.
The game then turned into a midfield battle, neither team able to take control and Basingstoke, missing five players, struggled to find their rhythm.
Towards the end of the first half Basingstoke were punished for their poor play as Henley went 2-1 up thanks to a tap in at the far post, but the visitors flew out of the blocks in the second period to race to a 4-2 lead.
Goals came from Clinton Douglass and two more for Bowden to complete his hat-trick, but the lead didn’t last long as Henley pushed ahead to 5-4.
The away side dug deep again and Graham Lang scored a clinical drag flick from a penalty corner, for the second game running, to make it 5-5 and to salvage a draw.
For the second team, a combination of newly born babies and the draw of university saw last year’s squad decimated, and a new looking side took to the pitch for their opening friendly against Fleet and Ewshot at home.
Basingstoke managed to get the better of the opening exchanges. Thanks to goals from Ben Shaughnessy and Dave Easterbrook, at half-time the score stood at a very satisfactory 2-0.
After the break, the opposition managed to put together their best move of the day and pulled a goal back.
However, this gave a second wind to Basingstoke who shortly restored the two goal cushion, courtesy of Shaughnessy’s second goal of the game.
As the second-half drew towards a close, the tired legs of Basingstoke started to flag and the game began to resemble a siege of the Basingstoke goal.
However, thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from Andy Betts, the defence held out and score was still 3-1 at the close.
The fourth team started slowly against local rivals Tadley, and slipped to a 1-0 deficit. Newly appointed captain Andy Footman swiftly rallied his troops, and from then on it was all Basingstoke’s game.
Captain Footman scored the first goal, and a brace from Ross Cavalier and one from Phil Stewart made it 4-1 at half-time.
After the restart, goals from Sam Crossman, another from Stewart and three more for Cavalier to only one reply saw Basingstoke take a 9-2 victory.
The Vikings also took a well-earned win, running away 4-1 over Fleet and Ewshot.
A pair of goals for Adam Neighbour and one each for Dave Gibbins and Loz Phillips sealed the victory.
In the ladies section, a double-header for the first team completed their pre-season friendlies, with a 1-1 draw and a 5-0 win against teams from the league above ensured a positive start to the season.
Facing Wycombe last Saturday, Basingstoke took an early lead through Catriona Bausor, but wayward passing and missed chances meant Basingstoke failed to build on the advantage and Wycombe scored from their only short corner to equalise in the second-half.
The following day the ladies travelled to Guildford, and after a nervous start it was captain Fiona Holdcroft who slotted home twice to take the lead.
Bausor got on the scoresheet for the second time in the weekend with a reverse stick strike for 3-0 at half time.
Clare Keenan scored from close range for 4-0 and Kirsty Kent put away a short corner rebound to make it five while the defence stood firm for the clean sheet.
The ladies travel to Worthing in their first South 3B league game on Saturday.
The second team slipped to a 5-1 defeat, while the thirds were narrowly beaten 1-0 in their friendly, the only goal of the game coming from a penalty corner.
The club’s newest side, the ladies fifth XI, showed promising signs in their opening friendly, at home against Havant.
Despite playing with only 10 players, the hosts played a strong defensive game against an onslaught of attacks.
Although Havant netted five times in the first 40 minutes, Basingstoke kept their heads up and held out for the majority of the second-half.
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