Unbeaten run comes to an end for North Devon HC

Hockey club team

North Devon's first team - Credit: North Devon HC

North Devon Hockey Club saw their first team’s winning start came to end last weekend with a disappointing away loss to Isca HC 3rds 5-2. 
 
North Devon found it difficult to contend with a bouncy Exeter University pitch and could not keep hold of the ball in the early stages. This led to Isca entering the opposition circle on a number of occasions, although resolute defending by Reuben Windley and Ben Andrew ensured that no damage was done. 
 
The away team did take the lead after a mis-hit my Michael Cuthbertson found its way to Pete Smale to finish with a fierce shot from an acute angle. 
 
Isca didn’t sit back and attacked the North Devon circle, a missed tackle saw Daniels save well but the rebound was dispatched by Isca. 
 
North Devon continued to attack but the through balls were well intercepted and Isca attacked down the middle of the pitch. Thankfully for the away team, they failed to score any further goals. 
 
Smale grabbed his second and just before the break and, incredibly, his 16th in just six games, when he intercepted the ball at the back, rounded the keeper and finished with aplomb to extend an amazing scoring record. 
 
Frustratingly for North Devon, Isca equalised straightaway from a penalty coroner, the first that been conceded this way.  A fierce drag flick gave Daniels no chance. 
 
After the break, North Devon piled on the pressure and won numerous penalty corners but the routines were poor and they couldn’t score, despite good chances for Ben Andrews and Sam Kirkness. 
 
The profligacy in front of goal was duly punished, as Isca decided to show North Devon how to do it, with three clinical penalty corner finishes, two of which were excellent far post deflections giving the defence no chance. 
 
Despite a few further chances for North Devon, they couldn’t score another and the game finished 5-2. 
 
A frustrating day for the away team, Isca played very well and deserved the win. North Devon will look to bounce back next week when they host Plymouth Marjons 3rd team. 

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