Team Bath Buccs men draw to dent Guildford's title hopes
The 1sts put a serious dent in Guildford’s England Hockey League Men’s Conference title aspirations as they held them to a 1-1 draw in Surrey on Sunday.
Chances were few and far between in a cagey affair, with German under-21 international Nik Reiger having Buccs’ best first-half opening with a close-range effort that was well saved by Simon Mason.
Both sides committed more men forward after the break and it was the visitors who took the lead when Tim Davenport scored his 18th goal of the season. Davenport reacted first to slide a Matt Ruxton cross past Mason.
Guildford then enjoyed large spells of possession as they looked to find an equaliser.
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Many of the large home crowd thought they had found it with ten minutes remaining when former Buccs striker Johnny Haynes deflected a well-struck ball into the circle. Sadly for the Guildford supporters, Buccs keeper Tom Skinner pulled off a sensational save to deny him.
Guildford’s pressure finally told in the 65th minute when a penalty corner brought about their equaliser. This time Haynes made no mistake, deflecting well past Skinner to draw his side level.
Guildford went close late on but failed to find a winner which meant they lost ground on Cardiff and Exeter, who both won.
Buccs tackle Whitchurch at Millfield School on Saturday and will look to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered in Cardiff in November.
The A team were handed two defeats in the Davis Wood Premiership, losing 6-0 at home to leaders Isca on Saturday before a 3-1 reverse at Bristol University.
Sabres B need a win at home to West Wilts in their final game on Saturday to escape the Championship’s bottom two after losing 5-3 at Truro.
After a three-and-a-half-hour trip to Cornwall, Buccs found themselves 3-0 down inside ten minutes. They showed their fighting spirit after the break, though, with goals from Steve George, Alex Lloyd and Rob Piesse closing the gap.
Admirals C went down 4-1 to second-placed Minehead in Central 1 but Pirates D will finish outside the bottom two after winning 2-0 at fellow strugglers Taunton Vale B in their penultimate fixture.
Central 2 champions Robinsons B overcame Vikings E 2-1 despite a goal from Fairweather and a man-of-the-match display from the returning Dowling.
Talboys hit a hat-trick as Ancient Mariners F defeated former bogey team Wootton Bassett A 7-3.
Man of the match Tony Lockie also got his name on the scoresheet and Prentice, Curry and Barron created chances with some good approach play.
Strikes from Smith and French earned Blades G a 2-0 win at Devizes that retains their hopes of taking the second promotion place in East Central 2.