Hockey round-up: Men narrowly beaten as ladies win

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MILTON Keynes Hockey Club’s men gave league leaders Richmond a good run for their money on Saturday before narrowly losing out 2-1, while the ladies beat Amersham by the same score.

Both MK and Richmond started slowly at the home side’s temporary home of Tattenhoe and were testing each other out without either side finding a goal. However, the visitors eventually made the breakthrough as some loose passing left MK on the backfoot, and despite goalkeeper Nick Gage keeping out their initial shot, he was left helpless as Richmond scored the follow-up.

MK pushed on to try and score an equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past Richmond’s keeper, and instead it was the away side who scored next to take a 2-0 lead midway through the first half.

MK pushed forward again and were rewarded with a short corner that was dispatched into the top corner by Andy Dixon to give his side a way back into the game going into the break.

They came out in the second half determined to level the scores, but despite their best efforts Richmond remained fairly comfortable. And MK’s efforts weren’t helped by two second half yellow cards for Richard Townsend and Russell Brazier as the visitors left with the points.

The club’s ladies were on the right end of a 2-1 scoreline against Amersham & Chalfont, with the win moving them up to second place in the table.

MK began tentatively, struggling to maintain possession, however it wasn’t long before they found themselves able to attack the Amersham circle and put pressure on their defence. Some accurate, two touch hockey through midfield by Chrissy Little and Laura Browne meant MK were able to link-up the attack with forwards Gemma Meredith and Lou Reynolds.

Their pressure eventually told following a spell of good pressure as the home side won a penalty corner and a good hit from Browne was followed up by Little who found the net with the rebound.

As ever, Amersham weren’t going to make the game easy for MK and a spell of slightly careless play meant it took some fine defending from Dee Davis, Steph Bates, Annette van Zyl and Becky Goad, and some great goalkeeping from Laura Pellington-Woodrow to maintain the lead.

With the score at 1-0 going into half time, MK knew there were probably going to be more goals in the game and after the interval they returned determined to be the team to score them.

They soon found the net from another penalty corner, only for the goal to be disallowed due to the ball being played too high into the goal from the first strike. Undeterred by that, MK looked for another and following a great ball into the D from Van Zyl, captain Sophie Reynolds fired home.

This goal was also disputed by Amersham, but following much deliberation by the umpires, the goal stood and MK extended their lead to 2-0. Not impressed by the goal being awarded, Amersham stepped up their game and the MK defence found themselves left open and their lead was halved.

In the final stages of the game, MK conceded a string of penalty corners, but despite the best efforts of Amersham, the home side remained determined and kept them out to secure the win.

The men’s 2nds enjoyed a 3-1 victory against Wycombe while the 4ths lost 3-0 to Staines and the 5ths beat Amersham & Chalfont 3-2. Michael Cox opened the scoring for MK, and in style as he ran the full length of the pitch, dribbled past two defenders and hammered the ball into the roof of the net. Man of the match James Cox then scored a brace, and despite Amersham making a game of it in the second half, MK held on for the win.

The ladies’ 2nds drew 2-2 with Wychwood after goals from Rebecca Hildrith and Babs Lisgarten, with keeper Emma Small the player of the match. The 3rds beat Kidlington 2-1 and 4ths recorded a 3-1 win over Hertford.

>> Enigma Hockey Club put in a fine display against Tring but in the end fell 4-2, with goals coming from Alex Baggs and Lesley White.