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1st XI Hockey

1st XI Hockey:  Marlborough 1 Eton 3
(May 2, Holden)

This was a scrappy affair on a sandy Astroturf, which prevented players on both sides from executing those skills learnt on faster, bouncier pitches. The opening phase was characterised by passes falling short of their intended target and unsuccessful ‘elimination’ skills. As the half progressed, Eton slowly acclimatised and began to gain territory against an increasingly packed home defence. Several short corners went unconverted until Holden struck home from close range. Marlborough levelled matters on the half hour after a well-worked break.

Improved ball control allowed Eton to work the (strong) right hand side to greater effect in the second half. Arwas, Karslake and May enjoyed success here but the Marlborough sweeper positioned himself well to intercept the resultant crosses. Either side could have scored but it was May who deflected in a shot from Karslake midway through the second half. A reckless challenge on Holden by the home goalkeeper outside his area earned him a sin-binning and any hopes of salvaging a draw; the watching 2nd XI ‘keeper was substituted on for an outfield player, May scored again soon afterwards and Eton retained possession for the final few minutes. Palmer and Shaw Stewart worked ceaselessly and both played the full 70 minutes in central midfield – a rarity in this sport at first team level. Undefeated since Week 1, this team faces a trip to unbeaten Tonbridge next Saturday for the season’s climax.

TA 7.3.09

DATE POSTED: 09 March 2009

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