St Albans lead the pack after goal-filled win over Harleston Magpies

Hat-trick hero Teague Mercano (right) receives the congratulations from Dave Williams as St Albans b

Hat-trick hero Teague Mercano (right) receives the congratulations from Dave Williams as St Albans beat Harleston Magpies. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

St Albans are the early leaders in the Men’s Hockey League Conference East after a 7-3 win at home to Harleston Magpies.

It is the second straight success in the opening games of the new season but although it turned into a convincing victory, it took some time to finally put their Norfolk visitors away.

The clash at Oaklands College had started superbly for the home side as they raced into a 3-0 lead after just 11 minutes.

Charlie Bowskill got things started by bundling the ball in from close range and then two in two minutes, Ian Scanlon getting the first of them before provider Dave Williams turned scorer.

A short corner allowed Harleston to pull one back and galvanised by that they too bagged two in two minutes to level the scores at 3-3 after 25 pulsating minutes.

St Albans found themselves down to 10 men either side of half-time as Bowskill sat out for 10 minutes following a yellow card.

But digging deep they saw that period out and then hit the Magpies on the break to retake the lead, Williams finding himself on the end of a glorious long ball and from the tightest of angles he hammered a backhand shot into the backboard.

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That changed the match and from there it became the Teague Marcano show as he bagged a 17-minute hat-trick, twice finding himself in the right place at the right time in the circle before rounded the final defender and striking the ball past the keeper for his third.

Head coach Dillet Gilkes said: "I'm pleased we stayed calm and stuck to the plan as the game could have gone either way at 3-3."

Saints now travel to Chichester on Sunday.

Across in the ladies section it is both the third and fifth teams who still boast perfect records.

The threes beat Brentwood 3-1 thanks to Bex Burton, Zaza Scanlon and Genie Trumpness goals, while the youthful fifths won 4-0 against Enigma with Erin Hugo, Eleanor Richmond, Ella Beedle and Gemma Little on target.