Lane's hat-trick in opening win
5:01pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Penarth sport
SATURDAY saw the launch of a new era for Penarth Hockey Club 1st XI under new skipper Mark ‘Jonty’ Thomas.
Faced with a difficult away game at a resurgent Gwent, Penarth were forced, due to usual early-season availability problems, to field a side made up of first-team regulars plus players from the 2nd and Veterans' teams.
It was with some degree of surprise, therefore, that Penarth raced in to a 3-0 half time lead with goals from Phil Lane (two) and Sam Wooding.
Skipper Thomas’ half time assertion that he would settle for a 4-4 draw, provided the side continued to gel, nearly proved prophetic as Gwent pulled the score back to 3-2 and, following Phil Lane’s hat-trick, they levelled at 4-4.
With time running out and a dominant Gwent pressing for a winner, new player Tom Harris found himself on the end of a Penarth breakout to seal a hard fought 5-4 win.
Post match discussions focused on the need to improve overall fitness as it is likely many of the league games facing Penarth will be settled similarly late in the game.
Penarth 1st XI's next fixture is on Saturday, September 14, when they face Cardiff Medics away and hoping to welcome back many 1st XI regulars
Penarth 2nd XI face Whitchurch F at Home.
The club always welcomes new, old and returning players, umpires, supporters, friends and helpers of whatever age and ability.
PENARTH VETERANS 1
NEATH VETERANS 1
Sunday brought the inaugural outing of the newly-formed Penarth Veterans and, against an extremely useful - and youthful - Neath, they did well to come away with a draw.
With many players on the Penarth side not having played for 10, 15, 20 years or more, it was not surprising that the team often looked disjointed and Neath were able to take the lead within the opening minutes. Penarth struggled to get cohesion during the first half and conceded a number of penalty corners but managed to keep the score at 1-0 at half time.
Following the team talk and with a number of positional and tactical changes, Penarth looked more of a cohesive unit in the second half and Rob Harrison found himself on the end of a well worked move down the right to calmly slot the ball past the Neath 'keeper.
As legs tired, the younger players in the Neath side were able to exert an increasing influence. However, the now well-organised Penarth side were able to limit Neath's scoring opportunities whilst creating a number of opportunities on the break.
At the final whistle, it was generally felt that the scoreline was a fair reflection on a game that was played throughout in an excellent spirit.
Special thanks go to umpires Graeme Jones and Sam Docherty whose sympathetic but firm approach contributed enormously to a very enjoyable game.
Penarth Veterans' next game is against Llanishen and Caerphilly on October 13.
Training on the astro turf continues at Barry Sports Centre every Wednesday – juniors, 6-7pm; seniors, 7-8pm.
Further information can be obtained from honorary secretary Dave Stevens – firstname.lastname@example.org