North Devon return to action with two wins

North Devon Hockey Club in their new away strip. Picture NDHC

North Devon Hockey Club in their new away strip. Picture NDHC - Credit: Archant

North Devon returned to action after lockdown with a 6-4 win over Exeter Hornets in Cullompton.

The began well with man of the match Joe Taylor-Richards latching onto an aerial from Giles Rowden and rounding the last man to beat the keeper and open the scoring.

More good work from Taylor-Richards saw Ash Thorne double the lead, but Hornets hit back when a quick free hit caught the visiting defence on their heels and the ball was deflected past Sam Wormington.

North Devon restored their two-goal cushion with a well-worked short corner move as Thorne deflected in at the far post, but Hornets then scored from the penalty spot and levelled after a solo run from their star player set up a tap-in.

Hornets forced six short corners in succession late in the first half, but North Devon held firm as Wormington showed fine form.

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An injury to Matt Brown forced North Devon to reshuffle in the second half, with Joe Hastie deputising well at centre-back.

An aerial by Guy Cockcroft allowed Taylor-Richards to run through and coolly round the keeper to make it 4-3 with captain David Orr adding the fifth from a short corner.

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Thorne completed his hat-trick with another deflection over the home keeper to make it 6-3, before Hornets grabbed a late fourth.

The Reds will look to take maximum points again this weekend at Taunton Civil Service before the winter beeak.

North Devon A continued their fine start to the season with a hard-fought win over Mid Somerset A.

The visitors began well, despite a two-hour journey from Wells, but well-taken goals from Simon Allen and Ed Waterman put the hosts on top at half time.

Gerrie de Beer produced an outstanding performance on debut on the way to the man of the match award, but despite the advice of coach Andy Arthur at the break, North Devon lost their shape in the second half and struggled to cope with a high press.

Phil Daniels was called into action a few times and the defence cleared several efforts off the line, before Mid Somerset managed to pull a goal back to set up a tense final few minutes.

North Devon managed to hold on for the points, though, as youngsters Jolyon, Fionn and Oscar worked really hard.

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