THE Penarth Hockey Club wound up its 2013-14 Davis Wood Hockey League campaign in disappointing fashion with two defeats.
ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY 5
PENARTH HC 3
Having already secured fourth position in De Cymru & The Marches 1, the 1st XI closed their season against an Aberystwyth University team flirting with relegation.
With more to play for, the students started the game strongly, but, weathering the storm, the visitors struck first with another superb individual goal from Chris Baker.
Despite seizing the advantage, Penarth still couldn't get a grip on the game, and it was only a matter of time before Aberystwyth hit back. Having made no mistake with that chance, the students grabbed control to lead 3-1 at half-time.
The day soon turned into one to forget for Penarth as they went another goal down and, even though they managed to pull a couple of goals back through strikes from Sam Wooding and Tom Haran, the students cemented their success – and possible survival in the division – with a fifth goal.
PENARTH HC A 1
CARDIFF & MET F 4
The 2nd XI’s final fixture was against a Cardiff & Met side keen to avenge defeat on home ‘soil’ in early December.
Despite missing a couple of players, Penarth fancied their chances of success, but ultimately came undone amid a hail of set-pieces.
Although the early phases proved evenly matched, the Cardiff side eventually benefited from Penarth conceding a soft penalty corner. The visitors increased the pressure, only to concede a goal at the other end as Dave Watkins’ run to the by-line resulted in a simple tap in for the supporting Tom Davies.
Another couple of well-worked goals tipped the game firmly in Cardiff’s favour heading into the break.
Determined to go down fighting, the home side proved more resilient in a tetchy second period and, despite allowing the visitors a fourth goal midway through the half, enjoyed as much of a presence at the opposite end, with Watkins denied on several occasions.
Youngster Rory Vizard showed why he will play an important part in Penarth’s 2014-15 season with some impressive touches up front, while Davies signed off his final game before leaving for university with a strong performance in midfield. Goalkeeper Calum Grant also departs, but not before turning in another defiant display between the sticks in his final game.
Despite the defeat, Penarth remain sixth in the De Cymru 2 standings, having shown a vast improvement over last season.
Although league action is now done and dusted, the club season is not yet over, with the annual general meeting and dinner scheduled for April 10 and 11l respectively, and a veterans game against a touring Stafford side planned for Sunday, April 13.