Hockey round-up: Six-goal thriller for ladies

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MILTON Keynes’ ladies had to settle for a high-scoring draw when they went up against Oxford University.

Following their emphatic 9-0 victory a week earlier, they produced another very entertaining game, but this time without the rewards as they were held to a 3-3 draw.

MK worked hard from the starting whistle to put the Uni defence under pressure, however it was Oxford who seemed to dominate the first part of the game, having the majority of the possession.

But MK didn’t let up and it was from a quick free hit by Becky Goad which released Sophie Reynolds to take the ball into the D and shoot high into the net for the opening goal.

Oxford attacked with even more pace and intensity after that and MK found themselves conceding a string of penalty corners, but some excellent shot stopping and defensive work from keeper Laura Pellington-Woodrow, Dee Davis, Sarah Lowry, Annette Van Zyl and Steph Bates meant they were unable to take advantage of these opportunities.

Instead MK led the attack once again and it was right on the half time whistle, that they extended their lead when Lou Reynolds slotted the ball past the Uni keeper to make it 2-0 at the break.

The second half brought some more good attacking opportunities from MK, but this time it was Oxford who looked the more likely to score, winning more penalty corners. It wasn’t long before they got back in the game, and it came in emphatic fashion as they netted no less than three times, all from penalty corner, to turn the game on its head.

But determined to at least salvage a point from the match, MK upped their game for the final part and looked for the equaliser. Some great link up play through midfield from Laura Browne, Charlotte Batty, Olivia Curle and player of the match Chrissy Little saw MK win a penalty corner of their own, with Little firing the ball home from close range to bring the scores level.

Buoyed by this goal, MK then looked for a dramatic late winner, but it wasn’t to be as Oxford held on to earn a draw, which lifts the city’s ladies up to third place in the league.

The ladies’ 2nds also fought back to earn a share of the spoils in their game against Witney. Ellie Walsh scored their equaliser but it was the efforts of Emma Small that saw the MK keeper named as player of the match. The ladies 3rds lost 2-0 to Marlow despite a good display by Jaime Taylor.

The men’s 3rds narrowly went down to local rivals Leighton Buzzard by the odd goal in three.

They started the better of the sides, pressing forward at every chance they could. Matt Darvell had the best chance of the first half when some great work from Dom Tyler set him up for a snap shot which produced a good stop from the Leighton keeper.

MK still pressed on, but just couldn’t find the net, before a great save from MK man of the match Taff Morgan kept his side in the game at the other end.

Some sloppy defending eventually let Leighton in to score the first goal of the game, and they doubled their advantage early in the second with Morgan unable to prevent the Leighton player going round him to score.

It wasn’t quite game over yet though as MK searched for a way back into the game, and they soon got it from a short corner, with Neil Hutchins on hand to fire home.

Leighton were then reduced a man with a yellow card, but for all their hard work and efforts MK failed to find the back of the net again.

There were good performances from Alex Head and Justin Bell in particular as the men’s 5ths beat Eascote Eagles 3-1, courtesy of goals from Michael Cox from a short corner, Dan Parrott and Stewart Rice.