Hockey: Old Boys take control

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The Independent Online
OLD CRANLEIGHANS, last year's EH Cup giant-killers - only going out to the eventual winners, Cannock, in the quarter-finals - started tentatively in their first-round game at Hendon, going a goal down in the 25th minute to a well-worked penalty corner.

But despite their spirited performance, Hendon lacked belief that they could win and conceded three second-half goals to lose 3-1. Mark Selby opened the scoring for the Old Boys in the 45th minute at a slipped penalty corner, with Welsh international Jon Rees scoring a second 10 minutes later. A fine save by substitute goalkeeper Andy Howell, after Matt Miles had been forced to retire with a migraine, denied Hendon an equaliser before John Read at another penalty corner settled the game.

Coventry and North Warwick's new coach, Gavin Featherstone, got off to a good start with a 3-1 win against Chesterfield, with two goals from Chris Roberts on his comeback and one from Adrian Adams. Paul Speed replied for Chesterfield.

With new signing Richard Ambrose injured in a car accident on Saturday and without the Day brothers, West Herts fell to a 3-0 defeat by near rivals Blueharts. Jersey notched eight goals without reply against Bodmin Dragons, while former winners Nottingham won 9-2 at Worcester Norton.

Eastcote completed their warm-up programme for their first National League season - unveiling a new sponsor, Diamond Motor Co - with a useful 4-4 draw at Premier Division Guildford gained thanks to a hat trick from Peter Gibbins and a string of brave saves from their new goalkeeper, the Welsh Under-21 international, George Harris.

The day's biggest victory was Bowdon's 15-0 demolition of South Shields, with Richard Midgley and David Egerton each scoring five times, Geoff Price and Bob Baker adding a brace each and Will Marshall completing the rout. The day's top goalscorer was Old Georgians' Guy Marchant with six in their 13-0 victory against Horley.

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