Win for first team in Bournemouth
Bournemouth Hockey Club 1st XI 2 v 6 REWHC Men’s 1st XI
On Saturday Rugby & East Warwickshire 1st XI were invited down to the south coast to play Bournemouth HC in a friendly match to celebrate the unveiling of their new pitch. Marshalled by skipper Henry Harrison, Rugby started the game at a high tempo, piling pressure on their opponents and creating plenty of opportunities to score. Rugby took the lead through Szymon Oszyjczyk with a powerful flick from a penalty corner and just minutes later the score line doubled; another penalty corner this time put away by Chris Graham. Oszyjczyk grabbed his second of the game after going through one-on-one with the keeper and winning himself a penalty stroke. Rugby lost a little discipline going into half time and found themselves temporarily down to nine men after yellow cards were shown to Chris Harding and Jack Duerden. Despite the numerical disadvantage, Rugby held on until half time without conceding thanks to sturdy defensive work from John Naylor, Russell Watling and Rich Major.
Rugby got off to a slow start in the second half and a period of sloppy play gifted Bournemouth a goal at the back post after an excellent initial save by keeper Danny Bell. To their credit, Rugby responded immediately from the pushback, Graham and Oszyjczyk combined well to leave Oszyjczyk with a simple finish to grab his hatrick. There were further goals to come, Liam Brown got his name on the score sheet and Oszyjczyk grabbed his fourth of the game in response to a second goal by Bournemouth. Strong midfield performances from Andy Sellers, Ben Kluth and Tom Morgan ensured that Rugby controlled the game and finished eventual 6-2 winners. There were plenty of positives to take from the game; mostly the clinical finishing from the strikers, but things to work on as well which is what pre-season is all about. The team were even lucky enough to grab a photo with GB Olympian and England Ladies hockey player Alex Danson who was there to open the pitch.
Wellingborough 1st XI 3 v 2 REWHC Men’s 2nd XI
The men’s 2 travelled to play Wellingborough 1s in their first pre season test. In what could be one of their easiest matches this year Rugby struggled for the first 15 minutes and were soon 1 down. Chris Thomas in goal made some fine saves to keep Rugby in the game. Meanwhile at the other end Rugby were able to exert some pressure and drew level from a Giles Morrison short corner, making the scores level at half time.
In the second half Rugby managed to dominate periods of the game and were only really troubled by the Wellingborough counter attack. Tom Oglethorpe was denied at close range by the opposition goalkeeper but Rugby did go ahead from a short corner won and converted by Gaz Unett. Despite having a better half Rugby were caught on the break and Wellingborough managed to draw level, and regain the lead, from their own short corners. A good start but still work to do before Rugby face Cannock 2’s on the first day of the season.