Plymouth University Seconds 3 Bude 4

Bude made the short trip away to Plymouth University second team with the aim of keeping their slim chances of promotion hopes, and did so to gain their revenge from a defeat earlier on in the season, writes Andy Davis.

Things got underway with both sides trying to establish a foothold in the middle, before a heavy hailstorm swept across the pitch.

The brief break worked to Bude’s advantage as they were the better team after the restart and broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when the ball was passed swiftly out wide to Zack Davis who beat his man and sent a perfect ball up front to Henry Gwynn-Thomas who calmly took control and with a low strike sent the ball crashing through the keeper and into the goal.

Plymouth responded well and gained a couple of short corners, but keeper Andy Davis had his eye in and made some top drawer saves; first with a low leg block then a prefect high glove left-hand save.

These crucial saves and a couple more really thwarted the home side’s momentum and also kept Bude in front long enough for them to weather the storm. 

Once they had recovered, they made Plymouth pay by extending the lead to 2-0 from penalty corner.

The ball came out to Kristof Saunders, he slipped it right to Saul Barraclough who then sent it back into the middle for the advancing George Heard to sweep it into the back of the net.

Bude continued the first half with some good play but were unable to register any more goals before the break.

Bude came out again unified and strong, nullifying any threat the home side could muster.

And it felt like it was only a matter of time until they would extend their lead. However it was the home side who scored somewhat against the run of play as some fast, young legs put a high press on, giving them good ball to play with and with a swift counter attack they got the ball around keeper Davis and into the goal.

Credit to Bude as they did not crumble under the pressure, but instead elevated their game another notch as they scored next with Zack Davis on the end of a flowing move that carved up their opponents with ease. The lead was deservedly stretched further to 4-1 when Heard got his second from another penalty corner routine, this time with a simple strike from the top that was deflected high past the keeper by his onrushing defender.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, a late surge and scare was put on as the Plymouth lads made short work of two penalty corners with a goal in each bottom corner that just evaded man of the match Davis.

This put a slight blemish on his award and the scoreline as otherwise he was impeccable with some outstanding saves at crucial times and his relentless talking and marshalling from the back helping to drive the team forward. 

The scoreline probably wasn’t a fair reflection of Bude’s dominance, but shows how quickly a hockey game can swing and all Bude will really care about is another three points to keep the pressure on the league leaders for as long as possible. 

The final two games of the season will start after a mini break for Easter with Bude’s final home game against Falmouth on April 6 (12.15pm) at the Budehaven Sports Centre.

Bude’s ladies finished off their Women’s Division Two South campaign with a 5-1 defeat at University of Plymouth.