Saturday, February 23
Verde Recreo Hockey League
THOMAS Hall scored twice as Bude bounced back to form with an impressive 6-3 victory over Penzance at Budehaven Sports Centre.
The pre-game talk centred around bringing back some enjoyment to their Saturday afternoons after their recent poor form, and if they could do this the hockey and scoreline would then look after themselves.
This slightly relaxed approach was the ideal tonic as Bude got off to a perfect start with David Pipe opening the scoring early on by tapping home from close range as the visiting keeper could only parry Charlie Falla’s forceful shot.
Soon after, Falla claimed his own goal as his pace enabled him to find plenty of space in the middle from where he just kept running towards goal until he neatly rounded the keeper.
A third was soon added by Thomas Hall as he fired home from the tightest of angles before Penzance grabbed a goal against the run of play as a strike at the top of the D from Harry Doyle ricocheted straight into the bottom corner.
Bude had the final say of the first half with a well-worked short corner that was excellently drag flicked by Tom Fry, who has been honing this skill over the last few months and it was just reward for his dedication and perseverance.
The home side were intent on carrying on the second-half in a similar vain; however Penzance started the better and were rewarded when some indecision in defence allowed them to create some simple passes and the resulting shot from Martin Prodger was well placed into the side netting beyond the outstretched Andy Davis.
Bude remained focused which was epitomised by Kristof Saunders as he displayed his outstanding leadership qualities by his constant organisation, silky skills and tireless work-rate in the middle of the pitch which then radiated across all the team as much as the good weather did.
Saunders capped off his influential performance with one of his trademark rocket strikes that fired past the keeper into the bottom corner and sunk any hopes of a comeback from Penzance; Bude’s sixth came from a well thought out yet improvised short corner routine due to the ball struggling to reach the top of the D, a shorter route was taken to the side from where Hall bagged his brace with a simple low shot.
Penzance got a late consolation after Davis made a good double save from close range but the next shot snuck past him and hit the defender’s body on the line resulting in a penalty flick; Davis went the right way but was unlucky as Doyle’s shot crept in under his outstretched leg and this took a slight shine off the scoreline.
However the result leaves Penzance stranded in the drop zone and lifts Bude further away, leaving them just three points from guaranteed safety.
With four games left to go, their fate is well in their own hands, starting with a trip to Penryn College on Saturday to take on third-placed Camborne School of Mines (2.30pm).
West Clubs Women’s Hockey League
BUDE threw away a 4-1 lead as third-placed Caradon fought back to win a nine-goal thriller at Budehaven Sports Centre.
Cara Phillips’ fantastic goal, which saw her beat several players and then fire a long-range shot into the bottom corner, put the hosts ahead inside 15 minutes.
Bude continued to dominate possession with some great passing, and just before half-time Jemma Ball scored their second with a lifted shot over the keeper from Tammy Snowsill’s cross.
Bude continued from where they had left off after the break and Nim Panesar reacted well to an initial save from Jemma Ball’s shot before clinically slotting the ball in the bottom right-hand corner.
Caradon were awarded a controversial short corner after that and scored a soft goal from a mis-injection.
The North Cornwall side kept their heads though and restored their three-goal advantage shortly afterwards from a lovely team goal. Anna Elliott drove up the left-wing before exchanging passes with Snowsill in the D to beat the keeper.
In the last 15 minutes, a combination of some tired Bude legs (who only had 11 players) and some controversial umpiring decisions allowed the visitors to score four goals in the last 15 minutes, which included one from a well-taken short corner and two from scrappy goals in open play.
The result leaves Bude eighth in the ten-team division ahead of Saturday’s trip to Tiverton School (12.30pm) to take on White Eagles, who are one place below them, but crucially, four points further back.
However, such is the tight nature of the league, Bude are only two points off fourth-placed Plymouth Marjon with five games remaining.