University come back from first-day loss with a big win
UNIVERSITY of Exeter bounced back from their opening day Men's Hockey League defeat against University of BIrmingham to score a big 4-0 away win at newly-promoted Bristol Firebrands.
The result was just the fillip the Exeter students needed ahead of a testing trip to Fareham on Saturday.
William Collins started Exeter off at Firebrands, scoring in the third minute for a 1-0 half-time advantage.
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Tom Samuel converted a 38th-minute penalty corner to make it 2-0 before further goals by Michael Franklin in the 44th minute and Josh Godfrey 15 minutes later saw the Exeter students claim their first league win of the term.
WEST NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Isca University will be looking forward to returning to home comforts following a 2-0 loss at Women's Conference West favourites Buckingham.
Buckingham took a fourth minute lead through Lorraine Campbell and still led 1-0 at half time.
The home side increased their lead through Jessica Bloom's 44th minute goal and, despite the best efforts of skipper Claire Thomas and summer signing Carla Dunnett, Isca could not break down the Buckingham defence.
Isca's Welsh under-21 keeper Ffion Barham made a superb save late on from a Buckingham short corner strike.
This Saturday Isca – who triumphed 2-0 over Trojans on the opening day – return home to University of Exeter Sports Park, where they face newly-promoted Taunton Vale at noon.
WEST PREMIER ONE
The two sides relegated from the national league back to the Western Counties West Hockey League both got off to absolutely flying Premier One starts.
Exe beat Cheltenham 3-0, while promotion favourites Team Bath Buccaneers beat new-look Plymouth Marjon 4-0.
Laura Allen marked her Exe first-team debut with a double first-half strike as they looked calm and composed on the ball.
A strong run into the box resulted in Allen being set up for her second to cap off a superb debut for the club.
Skipper Kirsty Crocker ensured a winning start for the Exeter-based side with Exe's third goal early in the second half after some superb play around the D from the impressive Becky Fagg.
Overall the team played well as a cohesive unit, with a fine blend of expertise and experience plus plenty of pace and enthusiasm.
Exe certainly do not have far to travel for their next match as it is happens to be against their second team at St Peter's School next Saturday.
Exe seconds lost their opening Premier One game 2-1 against a highly competent Bournemouth outfit, who were last season's runners-up.
Petroc Division 2
Sasha Arnott scored the first goal of this superb win by beating the keeper following a fine run.
Sarah Bennett then scored the first of her double, just before half time, Dart scored from a short corner after a good save from Sally Turner.
The effort was rewarded by Bennett's top of the D strike in the final minutes.