Bude 8 Duchy Seconds 0

Bude finished the first half of the season in resounding style with a thumping second half performance to blow away Duchy second team and move themselves up into second in the table, just two points behind leaders Camborne School of Mines, but with a game in hand, writes Andy Davis.

The Seasiders started in perfect fashion as within two minutes they were ahead with the first attack of the day as the ball was moved with lightening quick speed from the left-hand side to Kristof Saunders in the middle who, with a deft one touch deflection, found man of the match Charlie Falla who drove hard through the middle and when he reached the D, he unselfishly squared the ball for Henry Gwynn-Thomas to neatly slot the ball home into the bottom left hand corner with a single touch. 

Despite this early flurry by Bude, Duchy reacted well, remaining composed which allowed them to steadily grow into the game which was rewarded further by a number of unforced errors from the home side. 

Although Duchy had good possession and territory, they rarely encroached too close to the Bude goal, and once the Seasiders had sorted themselves out by reducing their own mistakes, they slowly turned things around and began carving up their opponents. 

This created multiple chances and had it not been for the visiting keeper pulling off two excellent saves, the lead would have been extended midway through the first half.

Bude kept plugging away and eventually had the ball in the back of the net from a penalty corner, but the goal was disallowed for not hitting the backboard from the first strike. 

A second goal was also disallowed not long after for another technicality, and even more chances came and went after that, but the score remained a slender 1-0 lead right through to the half-time break where a passionate talk from Saunders about simple hockey right up to and including passing around the keeper given his current form would be the key to success.

And his speech certainly roused the perfect response from the home team who rallied around him and delivered exactly what he asked for as they stepped up their play to a whole new level.

Similar to the first half, Bude got off to a flying start with a high press early on down the right hand side which left Duchy no option but to try and lift the ball cross pitch over the press to the space on the left-hand side. But George Heard had intelligently read the play and picked the aerial ball right out of the sky. He followed this with a neat tight turn to get the ball under control and then let rip a reverse tomahawk strike which deflected off the keeper’s stick onto the crossbar and back out where it fell perfectly for the oncoming Zack Davis to sweetly half volley back past a stranded keeper to make it 2-0. 

This move really lit the touchpaper and Bude sparked into life as a devastating ten-minute spell saw them rattle in four further high quality goals in quick succession, first from Heard as he tapped home through the keeper’s legs from close range; then Saunders purposefully forcing the ball home after a goalmouth scramble and melee. 

Next was a well-worked penalty corner which saw Tom Lush follow up his initial injection with a strong back stick deflection at the near post for the third, with the fourth from another slick penalty corner routine that went short to Thomas Hall who squared the ball to Charles Walker who flicked the ball into the left-hand side netting. 

The visitors were truly reeling at this point and decided to have a mini huddle after the goal to try and figure out what was going on and how they would stop the onslaught to gain some composure and pride back, but it was precious respite as Bude remained really strong and came back out physically and mentally stronger despite the visitors’ best efforts. 

The hosts were now in cruise control with a party mood feeling that was great to see as the defence easily soaked up what little pressure the visitors mustered, whilst the midfield and strikers were causing absolute havoc with the simple but sublime hockey led by striker Falla who made countless runs and simple offloads to leave the defenders constantly guessing who was going to score next as the ball was moved effortlessly from player to player.

It fell to the youngster Henry Walker to add his name to the list of scorers as his selfless passing was now reciprocated leaving him through on goal where he took his chance well. The eighth and final goal was worth the wait as Lush let rip with a screamer of a shot, sending the ball high into the roof of the net in the top left-hand corner.

That rounded off a thoroughly well-deserved and convincing win; they can now take a well-earned Christmas break until they restart again in the new year on January 13 with a home match against Ocean City Thirds where they will look to keep the pressure on the leaders.