IT was a fine end to 2011 for Milton Keynes Hockey Club’s ladies as they comfortably saw off Oxford Hawks 2nds.
Following their victory over league leaders Reading last Saturday, the MK team went into the game with confidence and high hopes of ending the year with another win. Having drawn with the Oxford Hawks side in their three previous meetings, MK were determined to take all three points from this game and right from the starting whistle put the pressure on the Hawks defence. Gemma Meredith opened the scoring for MK before Sophie Reynolds doubled the lead just before half-time.
Determined to take all the points but keep a clean sheet in the process, MK pressed forward and had a series of shots blocked inside the D before a penalty corner strike from Laura Browne increased their advantage to three.
Happy to sit back and defend, MK wrapped up the victory and now enjoy a nice Christmas break before restarting their campaign in January.
The men’s 1sts also go into the festive break on a high as they beat Chichester 3-1.
The 2nds comfortably made it past Wokingham. MK opened the scoring after a classic individual goal from debutant James Meek, who weaved his way through defenders before beating the keeper to open his account for the club. Giacomo Palmiero doubled the lead before half-time, but Wokingham struck back early in the second period, pegging MK back at 2-1.
The nerves continued as Wokingham had several unsuccessful but close attacks and even a potential penalty flick. The points were sealed for Milton Keynes by two firm and accurate strikes by Dave Breuilly, leaving the score a comfortable 4-1.
The mens 3rds also took on a Wokingham side, but while they didn’t have it as easy as their counterparts, they still came out on top by the odd goal in seven. Goals from Matt Darvell and Corey Jamieson put MK two goals to the good before a brilliant individual goal from Matt Darvell, which saw him round four Wokingham players, put MK 3-0 up before half-time.
Wokingham pulled one back before Jack Luther restored the three goal cushion. But there were nervy moments as the half ran down as the visitors rallied and pulled the scores back to 4-3 but they were eventually beaten by the clock.
Gerrards Cross 2nds came unstuck against a dogged MK 4ths as they won by a single Mark Chadwick strike.
The ladies 2nds travelled to Reading for their game, but came home empty-handed as they lost 4-2. Reading opened the scoring in the opening five minutes, but Lindsay Ketleborough pulled one back for MK. The home side quickly responded and retook the lead, but Pip Thorne restore parity for MK. For the third time, Reading took the lead, and this time they extended it, and the ladies had to return from Berkshire with nothing.
It was better news for the ladies 3rds as they thumped Bracknell 2nds 4-0. Trish O’Rourke opened the scoring for MK as they pressurised the visitors, and they quickly doubled their advantage with a Jo Hayward strike.
The second half was a feisty one with niggles from the first half seeming to spill over into the second half resulting in the clock being stopped several times due to some heated play and the umpires needing to exert some control over the match. The stoppages did not affect MK though as they pressed high and a skirmish in front of goal saw Sam Grover net the third goal and Jo Hayward the fourth to wrap up the win.
Royston 3rds were sent packing from Tattenhoe as the ladies 4ths were 2-1 winners in their encounter. Royston took the lead, but Muller was on hand for MK to pull the scores level at 1-1 before half-time. Determined not to lose out before the Christmas break, Dani Jeffery scored to secure a 2-1 win for MK.