Hockey: North Devon get first win of the season in Southern One


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North Devon claimed their first win of the Verde Recreo Southern One season on Saturday with a 4-2 win over Plymouth Marjon B.

It was North Devon’s first home game of the season, with the side playing at interim venue Kingsley School in Bideford.

North Devon took a three goal lead into half time. Phillip Brand opened the scoring before Ashley Thorne added another two, proving himself to be a menace at the back post.

Marjon came back strongly in the second half with two quickfire goals.

Man-of-the-match Thorne fired in his third of the day with two minutes to go to give North Devon a bit of relief.

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Captain David Orr said: “It has been a difficult start to the season for us, having only secured a home pitch to play on this week. Therefore, I think our lack of fitness and sharpness showed in the second half.

“However, I always knew we would be mentally tough enough to close out the game.”

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Having played two games in Southern One, North Devon and the rest of the hockey community will have to wait until the national lockdown ends before they can get back on the pitch.

A statement from England Hockey said no club or community hockey will take place until after December 4 ‘at the earliest’.

The statement said: “The latest government announcement orders all sports facilities to close and therefore club and other community hockey activity is suspended until the game is in a position to resume.

“Over the last few months all those involved in delivering hockey safely have helped to prove that the sport is extremely low risk in terms of the transmission of Covid and this gives us confidence that we can be back soon.

“We are very grateful to all the Covid officers, volunteers, players, coaches and officials that went the extra mile to provide a safe place for hockey to be played.

“We recognise that the next few weeks will be challenging for those like us that love the game and will miss the opportunity to be out playing, coaching and officiating with friends.

“The government announcement made reference to returning to the Covid alert levels after the end of this period of lockdown, and should that be the case we are confident that clubs will be able to resume promptly in line with our previously-issued Return to Play guidance.”

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