Kingsbridge & Salcombe Hockey Club

Kingsbridge & Salcombe Hockey Club

COUGARS DENIED IN CLOSELY FOUGHT GAME

by Ash Wyeth

Returning to action against a young Marjons side the Cougars have a history of hotly contested games with the Plymouth side, trading wins over the last few seasons.

The Cougars began well with some solid early possession and control of play with the majority of the ball being contested in the midfield.

With Marjons favouring their male players Will Symons took the brunt of the pressure at the back and stamped his authority on the game with some great early tackles. Tony Paul stood tall in front of goal and pulled off some superb early saves to deny Marjons main striker whilst Chris Guard and Helen Symons both had efforts well saved at the other end.

A loose ball through the middle saw the Marjons centre forward turn inside the D onto his favoured reverse side and strike a powerful shot to sneak a lead for the Plymouth side late in the half.

Moving in to half time the game was still evenly balanced and KS focused on using the width through Nic Bowes and Abi Bell to play around the Marjons defence. Starting the second half well the Cougars made good use of the width to create several chances as Helen Symons frequently turned her marker inside out to deliver passes into the danger zone.

Guard, Ash Wyeth and Oli Balchin all had great efforts saved by the Marjons keeper who was on top form. The increased pressure from KS was sure to tell at some point but a breakaway move and another reverse stick shot from the Marjons striker saw them extend their lead to 2-0.

Never a side to give up the Cougars stepped up their game and dominated the play for the closing 10 minutes, peppering the Marjon goal with shots and controlling the play well through clever possession and some excellent passing. Pressuring the defender Wyeth took the ball and released to Bowes whose slip across goal was cleared to Sam Holdsworth at the top of the D, squaring up Holdsworth delivered a rocket of a shot past the helpless keeper to bring KS back into the game in the dying stages.

Although KS continued to control the game and came close again near the end it was not to be their day as the whistle blew on the end of a hard fought game that could have gone either way.

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