Hitchin Blueharts hockey round-up: Eight goal masterclass from the men's third team
PUBLISHED: 21:16 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 01:29 06 December 2017
The highlights this week for Blueharts have been the men's third team firing eight past Southgate Adelaide and the men's seconds walloping Wapping 5-0. Despite defeats by just one goal for the men's firsts, fifths and sixths it's also been another strong week for the ladies section with all four teams unbeaten.
Blueharts thirds enjoyed a goalfest at home against league strugglers Southgate Adelaide. It was the visitors who created better chances on the counter-attack to begin with as Blueharts were caught high. Luckily for Blueharts, their opposition’s finishing was poor and any attempts on goal were saved by Jamie Buchanan.
Deep into the first half, Richard Middleditch eventually put Blueharts into the lead with a fine strike past the Southgate keeper and into the inside side netting. The lead was then swiftly doubled by Ashley Hammond just before half time, making it 2-0. Although ahead by 2 goals, the lead didn’t seem as safe as it should have been and Blueharts knew that they still had work to do to secure victory and build a goal difference that would help with their bid for promotion. The team-talk seemed to have some effect and shortly into the second half, Hammond scored his second goal to extend the scoreline to 3-0. Just as confidence was beginning to build, Southgate found their way into the Blueharts D and their forward put an excellent lifted pass across the goal that found an unmarked player at back post who dispatched the ball on the volley. The Thirds reacted well and as Southgate began to tire, the floodgates then opened.
A further five goals followed – three more for man of the match Middleditch, a first-class drag flick from Strickland and a final goal for Hammond to complete his hat-trick. The match ended with a favourable 8-1 score line keeping men’s thirds second in East Div 4SW.
The men’s seconds travelled to the Olympic pitch to face Wapping. Goals from Paul Krishman, Dan Drew, Ben Guest, Ben Phillipson and Paul Tough saw them wallop Wapping 5-0. The men’s firsts had a close game at home narrowly losing to Saffron Walden 2-3. The men’s fourth team lost 6-2 away to Winchmore Hill and Enfield and the men’s fifth lost 1-0 to Cheshunt. The men’s sixth’s lost 3-1 to St Albans despite being 1-0 up for most of the game from Chris Slack’s goal.
The women’s section was undefeated with the ladies’ firsts playing on the Olympic pitch versus East London. An end to end game, the 0-0 score line didn’t reflect the high standard and quick pace of the match. The defence had their work cut out to keep a clean sheet with keeper Jess Marsh making athletic saves and player of the match Carly Madders diffusing pressure from the opposition forwards. The Blueharts attack looked threatening all game using their 3D skills and fast powerful hockey to strike on goal but were kept out by the opposition goalie.
The ladies’ seconds travelled away to West Herts with Ella Blackmore putting Blueharts in the lead fizzing a deflected ball past the opposition keeper. Next up was Anna Wallace who slapped a square ball from Kate Chappell into the goal making it 2-0. With keeper Louise Pillar still injured Nat Sullivan once more showed her shot stopping capabilities, carrying the ball wide of the post and clearing her lines on several occasions earning her player of the match. West Herts pulled one back to make it 2-1 but Blueharts turned the game around again with a ball from Claire Dainton finding Chappell who provided Anna Wallace with a pass to score her brace of the game. This win puts the Ladies’ 2s in second place of Five Counties Premier Division.
The ladies’ thirds had a strong start at home giving them a 1-0 lead after five minutes as Hannah McPherson slotted the ball past St Neot’s goalie after some lovely accurate passing from the forwards. St Neots didn’t take long to retaliate making in 1-1 after a short corner. Blueharts continued to pass the ball well keeping possession and got a further two goals from Victoria Marsh and Izzy Davies leaving it 3-1 at half time. The second half the blues kept their cool holding onto the win with a 3-2 result.
After having last week’s match was called off the ladies’ fourths were hungry for a good game of hockey and were delighted to come away with a well-earned win against Saffron Walden fifths at home. Blueharts attacked from the off and the first goal of the game came within five minutes with a cracker of a straight strike from Jenny Burr. The team didn’t have to wait too long for the second goal with Haly passing to player of the match Alice Seymour whose strike found Louise Kenyon to sneak the ball in from the right post. Saffron Walden responded with a goal of their own. A substitution served the team well when Lucy Williams came back on the pitch to get the third goal from the middle of the D off a rebound. In the second half both teams remained determined with Burr getting a brace to make it 4-3 keeping the team in second place Five Counties Div 4.