It’s a family affair for Boadicea’s and IIIs

HOCKEY: DUE to a quirk of the fixtures, St Albans Boadicea’s were drawn to play clubmates St Albans III at Clarence Park.

Not only was there a big inter-club rivalry, the fixture saw Sue Martin facing two of her daughters in the Ladies III side and her husband umpiring.

With little between the two teams in the league, this was also going to be a highly fired up contest. With 10 minutes gone the Boadicea’s found themselves 1-0 down as they were hit by a quick break.

Boadicea’s quickly drew level when they were awarded a penalty corner. Kelli Seagrave slipped the ball across for Sarah Embrey to slot home from close range. Boadicea’s then took the lead from another corner. Despite an initial save from the ‘keeper, the ball rebounded onto the stick of Helen Anton who made no mistake.

Boadicea’s held onto the lead until half time and turned round in confident mode. The opening period of the second half belonged to IIIs with a number of penalty corners, which they could not convert. Claire Brown, the Boadicea’s ‘keeper, was able to repel any other attacks with a fine display.

Boadicea’s extended their lead as Kelli Seagrave attacked into the IIIs’ D. Despite having a chance to score herself, she passed across to Sarah Embrey who flicked over the ‘keeper into the open goal.

Despite Claire Brown taking the Player of the Match, she was run close by Linda Pilkington-Cooper who made a number of goal line saves when Brown had been beaten.

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Boadicea’s held on to the 3-1 lead until the final whistle. Next week Boadicea’s face top of the table Leighton Buzzard followed by a return fixture against the IIIs the following week.

n Exiles suffered their worst defeat of the season as they were hammered 10-3 by promotion chasing West Herts.

It was West Herts who broke the deadlock when Exiles lost the ball in midfield and a swift break saw the West Herts attack down the right wing before crossing for an easy tap-in. West Herts doubled the lead moments later from a similar attack.

With five minutes left in the first half Exiles pulled a goal back. A long, diagonal ball from left back split open the West Herts defence and as the ball was hit into the ‘D’ James Cowan was on hand to tap home. The joy was to be short lived as West Herts were awarded a penalty corner with seconds remaining in the half. Despite two fine saves, the ball kept returning to a West Herts stick, who made no mistake at the third attempt.

Both umpires were in a rather officious mood with little sympathy for the game being played and the West Herts number 44 was lucky to stay on the field.

The second half was no more than two minutes old when West Herts were awarded a penalty stroke as Jon Freedman was penalised for a deliberate foul and West Herts made no mistake.

Exiles started to make a comeback with Matt Howeson striking home a penalty corner quickly followed up by a goal by Spencer Winter from a penalty corner. Exiles were now the dominant force and looked likely to score again.

It was from this point on that Exiles completely lost the plot. Graham Dill was sent to the sin-bin for slowing down the restart when he hit the ball away. He was off the pitch for nearly 15 minutes.

With the numerical advantage, West Herts attacked with a ruthless streak with Exiles’ defence over run. Dill was joined in the bin by Phil Dorsett and a West Herts player for retaliating to a foul. Exiles were down to nine players, and were reduced even further when Nick James, on the substitute’s bench, was adjudged to have made too much noise about the eyesight of the umpires. He was shown a yellow card. In hockey a yellow card for a sub means that the team lose the captain from the field.

It was no surprise that West Herts started to rack up the goals. Jerry Fretter attempted to keep the ball in play and could only clear to the West Herts No. 44 who calmly hit a reverse stick into the bottom corner. Some good stops and clearances from Winter and Jobson kept the score down further, but it was a rather thankless task, as West Herts were rampant against the depleted side

When the Exiles returned to full strength they had fallen from 4-3 down to 9-3 down. As the final whistle blew West Herts finished off in double figures as they had easily outplayed the Exiles in all parts of the pitch.

With results again going in Exiles favour, they still remain out of the relegation zone and face Royston I next week in what should decide their fate.