Hockey: Team Bath Buccs fall short in dramatic late rally
BUCCS MEN A late rally failed to yield any reward for Team Bath Buccs, who were beaten 5-4 at England Hockey League Men's Conference West title rivals Cardiff & UWIC.
Jody Paul's side were looking to follow up the previous week's fine 5-0 win over Fareham with victory in the Welsh capital but started off the pace and were punished by a ruthless Cardiff side who ran in three unanswered goals in the first half.
Mark Whatling, Sam Wiggins and Liam Brignull all provided fine finishes to leave Buccs with a mountain to climb in the second half.
It got even tougher for the visitors in the second half when Cardiff scored two more goals through Richard Howson and Luke Hawker, much to the delight of the vocal home crowd.
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Buccs captain George Farrant provided the spark Buccs needed in the 58th minute when he shot past Cardiff's Ben Dudley from a penalty corner.
The goal brought the away side to life and three goals in an incredible four-minute spell ensured a nervy finish for the hosts. Tim Davenport, Niklas Rieger and a Cardiff own goal made the score 5-4 with seconds remaining on the clock.
In one last attack Buccs won a penalty corner which would prove to be the final play of the match. Davenport flicked wide to let the home side off the hook and prevent a stunning Buccs comeback.
The result leaves Buccs four points behind Cardiff and Guildford, who hold the top spot on goal difference, going into the two-month festive break.
They resume their league campaign on February 2 when Cheltenham visit the Sports Training Village.
Buccs A remain second in the Davis Wood Premiership table following an 8-0 hammering of struggling Whitchurch A.
Guy Tasker deflected in the opening goal before Ed Horler doubled the hosts' lead and Thomas Sobey added a brace to make it 4-0 at the interval.
Sobey scored twice more in the second half to take his tally to four, rounding off the scoring with the goal of the game following a sublime reverse stick lay-off by Tom Wood.
Tasker and Charlie Olley added the others for Buccs, who travel to table-toppers Isca on Saturday.
Buccs Sabres B were edged out in a 4-2 defeat at Gloucester.
An early Matt Gallegos strike and an Alex Tapping penalty stroke were not enough to earn any reward against a clinical Gloucester front-line.
The Vikings E team produced a spirited display against Devizes but went down 3-2.
Bowman scored both goals, while youngster Olly Budd impressed.
A decimated Ancient Mariners F side claimed a fine 3-2 win at Marlborough B.
Barron slotted home the opener but Buccs fell 2-1 down in the second half before being reduced to ten men due to two injuries.
But they rallied and man of the match Ernie Tse set up Curry for the equaliser before hitting the winner himself.
Blades G went behind inside five minutes at Chippenham C before going on to triumph 4-1.
Chubb equalised before Goodyear gave Buccs a half-time lead. Goodyear and French rounded off the scoring in the second half.