Cardiff canter puts Buccs back on track
BUCCS MEN Team Bath Buccaneers bounced back well from their opening-day defeat at Cheltenham by recording a convincing 4-1 home win over Cardiff & UWIC on a wet and windy Sunday.
Bolstered by the arrival of additional squad players, Buccs immediately had the visitors on the back foot and took a 15th-minute lead when George Farrant struck a low shot past Cardiff keeper Ben Dudley from a penalty corner.
It was a carbon copy of the goal Farrant scored in the same fixture last season and takes his personal tally against the Welsh side to three goals in as many games.
Increased pressure from Cardiff ensured it was a lead Buccs could not extend until midway through the second half, when Ben Carless flicked hard and low past Dudley from another penalty corner.
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Debutant Stuart Loughrey made it 3-0 nine minutes later, converting from close range after Carless had a shot well saved.
Liam Brignull pulled one back for Cardiff with two minutes remaining, deceiving keeper Tom Skinner with a penalty corner drag-flick, but Buccs had the last laugh when German midfielder Niklas Rieger diverted in Ben Mackey's goalbound effort.
Jody Paul's side would have been pleased with the performance but, more importantly, the three points as they look to work their way up the EHL Men's Conference West.
Next up for Buccs is Saturday's trip to Havant, who have started with two defeats but are traditionally very strong at home.
The new-looks Buccs A team warmed up for this weekend's Davis Wood League opener by beating Whitchurch A 2-1 in their only pre-season friendly.
With an average age of around 20, and 13 full-time students in the squad, Buccs looked handy in possession and opened the scoring when Guy Tasker deflected David Hatherley's raking pass up and over the keeper's shoulder.
Whitchurch levelled just after the break but Buccs were not to be denied and, after squandering several corners, got a winner thanks to a nice turn and shot from Tasker.
Buccs' E Vikings missed a hatful of chances but beat Whitchurch D by the odd goal in five, while the G Blades drew 2-2 with Whitchurch G.