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Basingstoke Hockey Ladies open with a win
12:00pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club's ladies opened their league campaign with an excellent 3-2 win at Worthing last Saturday.
The visitors opened the scoring as captain Fi Holdcroft slotted home and then enjoyed long periods of possession, but could not add to their tally.
Against the run of play the home side equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time.
After the break, Basingstoke secured the majority of the possession and territory and re-took the lead as Ruth Crawford fired the ball in for the waiting Jo Pett to score at the far post.
Soon after, Basingstoke converted a short corner, when a switch to Clare Keenan found new recruit Roxy O'Dea on the post to deflect home to make it 3-1.
The hosts still looked dangerous on the attack, and from a breakaway scored from the top of the circle, but Basingstoke held on to take the win.
Back at Down Grange, the ladies second team put together a confident performance in their final friendly beating Haslemere from the league above 2-0.
Basingstoke worked hard from the start and were rewarded with a short corner, which Becky Donaldson duly converted to put the hosts on top.
Coming out strongly after the break, Basingstoke earned another short corner, and captain Cath McCormick hit the backboard.
It was ideal preparation for next week's league opener against Hamble.
The third XI’s final lost their final friendly 4-3 against Eastleigh.
Basingstoke opened the scoring after 15 minutes as a cross from Jenny Rust was deflected in to put Basingstoke ahead.
Unfortunately, the lead did not last long, as Eastleigh netted twice either side of half time.
Basingstoke hit back as Sharon Holden picked up a deflection and slotted home and Leanne Smith linked-up with Jane Tuffnell in the last minute as they just fell short.
The new-look Ladies IV’s began their league campaign with a 0-0 draw at home against Romsey III.
Their manager Mark Smith was delighted with the quality of play and said: "It's great to see new players who have recently got back into hockey join the side. Strong team work and a supportive performance has shown a really promising start to the season.”
The ladies fifth side started brightly as they faced Hamble. Despite a strong second-half performance and a determined display by player of the match Grace Moore, Basingstoke unfortunate slipped to a 6-0 defeat.
The men's team began their Hampshire Cup campaign at the newly introduced first-round tournament.
Starting positively with a 3-0 win over Fleet, their concentration dipped in the afternoon leading to draws against Andover and Aldershot and Farnham.
The final game of the day was against Winchester, and a rejuvenated side put together a strong display to claim a 4-0 win.
Although undefeated, Basingstoke lost out on the top spot on goal difference, and now must look to the second change tournament in October to continue their cup run.
The second XI faced their toughest pre-season assignment as they hosted a highly organised Woking side.
After a goalless first-half a determined half-time team talk put the hosts onto the front foot, and a blistering strike from Mike Hogan claimed the lead.
A second goal followed courtesy of Ben Shaughnessy, and though Woking pulled one back, a dramatic short corner from Shaughnessy ensured Basingstoke won the day 3-1.
The fourth team claimed a 2-2 draw with Fleet and Ewshot. Phil Stewart scored both goals for Basingstoke, in what proved to be a lively encounter.
Report by Ian Watson