Both ND Hockey teams still fighting at the top

North Devon Gazette

North Devon 1st XI drew 2-2 at home to a very energetic Ashmoor 2nd XIÂ in the West Men's Division 2 South Hockey League.Â

Although striker Guy Cockcroft had a fine effort saved in the opening moments of the game, Ashmoor created most of the chances in the first 35 minutes. However, a North Devon break just before the end of the half saw winger Joe Taylor-Richards cross the ball to the back post for Ashley Thorne to convert and put the Reds 1-0 up.Â

The second half proved a scratchy affair with neither side gaining any momentum. Guy Cockcroft once again fell victim to a good save, this time from a penalty flick, and it was not long after that Ashmoor managed to breach the home defences with a well-worked goal. Â
With ten minutes to go, North Devon converted the first of their twelve short-corner chances, courtesy of Thorne once again. However, with only a few minutes remaining, Ashmoor equalised with a tap in at the far post to give the away team a share of the points.Â

"I think a draw was a fair result," commented man of the match Thorne. "We had our opportunities and really need to work hard in training this week on our short-corners and finishing. I think we ended up giving the defence too much to do, but we learn and move on."Â

North Devon, who still lie second in the table, next entertain an in-form Isca 3rd XI at home on Saturday, 26th February.Â

North Devon 2nds travelled to face Isca VI and early pressure from the hosts resulted in the opening goal. Debutant Chris Broome was a handful for the Isca defence, linking well with the midfield and fellow forward Simon Allen. He was rewarded with a goal when he swept in a pass from Ben Andrews.Â

Isca went ahead again after the break but the equalising goal came following some scintillating close 1-2 passing between Ben Andrews and Tim Braund as he drove into the D and lifted it over the keeper. Braund then beautifully controlled a long ball before slotting a sublime winner for North Devon. Â