Hockey: Oxford worked into a corner

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The Independent Online
Oxford University, in their annual match against the Bacchanalians, celebrated the return of their coach, Gavin Featherstone with a 4-1 victory.

Featherstone, however, was far from happy with their finishing, particularly their penalty corner drill, having scored just twice from 14 attempts. The coach, back at his post now that the University have found additional funds, immediately ordered an additional session of corner practice.

With Steffan Griffiths, last year's captain, dominating the midfield, Oxford forced a series of early penalty corners without success. Their German Under-21 international, Henning Tewes, also missed two open goals from opportunities provided by Adam Laird.

It was Laird, in the 25th minute, who centred for Richard MacDowel to dive at the far post for the opening goal. Within two minutes the Baccs were on terms when Piers Robson converted their first penalty corner.

Oxford went further ahead 10 minutes into the second half when Laird converted their ninth corner but only after several players had tried to prod the ball home. After an isolated raid and a penalty corner from the visitors, Dan Edwards claimed Oxford's third goal in the 58th minute.

It was fitting that the University's new captain, Peter Bell, should complete the scoring with a powerful corner strike.

Featherstone, who will be coaching South Africa in next month's World Cup in Sydney, said: 'I am delighted to be back, although funds at present only provide for this term. On today's game I am satisfied with four goals. We have the pace but not the accuracy. We must now fuse them together. Corner drill is a high priority.'

OXFORD UNIVERSITY: S Culliford (St Catherine's); T Griffiths (Keble), J Pratt (University); P Bell (Lincoln, capt), P Haywood-Butt (Keble); W Cresswell (Pembroke), S Griffiths (University), M Barr (New); A Laird (Brasenose), H Tewes (Keble), R MacDowel (St Benet's). Substitutes used: A Khan (Christ Church), W Kendall (Keble), D Edwards (St Edmunds Hall).

BACCHANALIANS: N Richards (Oxford Occasionals); T Otterenshaw (Olton); P Sheardown (Hull), E Smith (Harborne), M Darbey; M Darbyshire, B Donkley (all Northampton Saints), P Robson, A Burrows (Firebrands), C Brown (Harborne), B Goodman (Oxford Occasionals). Substitutes used: R Page, R Darbey (Northampton Saints).

Umpires: T Watson; R Southerden (SCHUA).

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