Buccs sink students to take top spot
BUCCS MEN A 3-1 home win over a tough University of Birmingham outfit sent Team Bath Buccs back to the top of the England Hockey League Men's Conference West on Sunday.
Jody Paul's side fell behind early on when a defensive slip let in Matthew Pacey, who was able to compose himself before finishing on his reverse past Buccs stopper Tom Skinner.
Buccs drew level nine minutes before half-time when a slick penalty corner routine was finished off by George Farrant.
Both sides appeared to cancel each other out for much of the second half and chances were few and far between.
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Eventually Buccs went ahead with four minutes remaining when Welsh international Matt Ruxton found Tim Davenport in the circle and he deflected the ball home on his reverse.
As the visitors looked for a way back into the game, Buccs began to find more space and were able to capitalise on this with a minute left on the clock. Ben Mackey superbly dispossessed a Birmingham full- back before feeding Davenport, who raced away and calmly finished to confirm all three points for the Buccaneers.
Cardiff & UWIC, who led the division at the start of play, were beaten 2-0 at home by Havant. Buccs duly leapfrogged them and are now a point clear ahead of Saturday's home game with Guildford (12.30pm).
Buccs A maintained their unbeaten record in the Davis Wood League Premiership with a 2-1 win at ECV Hornets.
The hosts went ahead when a long ball caught Mike MacDowell napping, allowing one of their forwards to beat helpless keeper Cattermole.
After some enterprising work, Buccs were awarded a penalty corner which was slotted home by Ed Horler to make it 1-1 at the break.
The second half started much as the first had finished, with Buccs having the lion's share of possession. They were consistently frustrated in the final third until drag flick specialist Alex Lloyd powered the winner past the ECV keeper from a penalty corner.
Sabres B went down 3-1 to Bristol UWE in an exciting encounter at the Sports Training Village.
UWE went ahead early on through a well-taken reverse-stick strike and added two more goals to their tally in the second half. Buccs fought manfully, though, and got their reward when youngster Matt Gallegos deflected home from a short corner to give them hope.
Admirals C went down 2-0 to a newly-merged Sidmouth & Ottery A side which featured their former captain, Jon Hext.
Experienced duo Barry and Fairweather found the net as Vikings E produced their best performance of the season to beat Bristol University C 3-1.
A rare goal from Clarke completed Vikings' tally in a game that saw some encouraging displays from the team's youngsters, including Jobe Parfitt.
Ancient Mariners F had a day to forget as they were beaten 5-0 at home by physical table-toppers North Wilts, shipping four second-half goals in the process.
Blades G played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with an XI made up of University of Bath freshers. Nick Smith, Adam Sandey and Jack Tucker found the net for Buccs.