Marlow HC take another major stride towards the title

George Evans. Credit: South Berkshire HC

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Marlow men’s first team took another big stride towards the South Central Premier Division 2 title as they defeated South Berkshire 5-1 with top scorer Callum White helping himself to another hat-trick.

It didn’t take the league leaders long to open the scoring with White reacting quickest to a looped ball into the D to smash the ball into the net.

Marlow’s high press left them vulnerable to a counterattack and South Berkshire did manage to level the match from one of these, however, their parity was short-lived.

White netted his second from a penalty corner to make it 2-1, and that’s the way it remained until quite late in the second half when the hosts were awarded a penalty stroke, calmly converted by White for his 32nd of the season, this from just 20 matches.

The visitors continued to fight, but Marlow were able to add two more before the end, the first coming from a remarkable reverse-stick shot from young George Evans and a thunderous strike by Sam Burroughs from a penalty corner.

The men’s 2nds late season form continued as they beat Aylesbury 1srs 5-2 away from home for their fourth successive victory.

In sunny but windy conditions, the visitors made a bright start with Dan Field linking up well with teammates to fire them in front.

Aylesbury hit back against the run of play, scoring twice to make it 2-1, but Marlow maintained their composure and levelled matters with another goal from Field, this time after excellent play from Isaac Maddern and Rymer. Field then completed a first half hat-trick after good work in the build up by Sam Jackson on his debut.

The second half was a tetchier affair with Marlow and Aylesbury players both receiving cards, but the visitors held firm with Charlie May making some excellent saves to preserve their lead. Matty Gillespie showed class and a level head well beyond his years while Ollie Green, Dave Hand and John Butt worked tirelessly in midfield.

Johnny Mee grabbed their fourth with Hand adding a fifth late on.

Other results saw the 3rds beat Slough 2nds 2-0, the 4ths draw 1-1 with Eastcote 4ths, the 6ths lose 4-0 away to South Berks 5ths and the 7ths lose 4-1 to Yateley 4ths.

Marlow Women’s 1st team can count themselves slightly unfortunate not to have taken anything from Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Oxford 1sts.

Having initially stood up well to their visitors’ attacks, they took the lead when Kiera Allen swept home the opener from a fabulous cross into the D. However, Oxford levelled matters within a couple of minutes and scored twice more before the interval to open up a 3-1 lead.

Marlow shuffled their system and players at the interval and the likes of Martha Goodridge and Kiera Foster got into some threatening positions.

Kerri Smith grabbed a goal back for the hosts with 18 minutes remaining but, try as they might, they couldn’t conjure up an equaliser with Smith hitting the post late on.

The women's 2nd team had a wasted trip to Oxford to play the University 2nds side, discovering on arrival that their hosts had failed to book a pitch.

The match was forfeited in their favour and the outcome was enough to keep them top of the table; however, they’d much rather have earned the three points on the pitch.

Results elsewhere saw the 3rd team beat Thame 1sts 5-2 while the 4ths lost 3-2 at Newbury & Thatcham. The 6ths drew 1-1 with Newbury & Thatcham 4ths and the 7ths beat Iver & Burnham 1sts 2-0.

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