Match Report: Men: NowPensions Hockey League – West Conference
Fixture: Team Bath Buccaneers v Guildford
Date: Sunday 23 March 2014
Venue: University of Bath Sports Training Village
Team Bath Buccaneers won their final West Conference match of the season, beating Guildford 2-0 at the STV on Sunday.
Sadly for Jody Paul’s side the win wasn’t enough to clinch the title as leaders Cardiff also won at Havant, ensuring Buccaneers finished second by two points.
Guildford were one of four teams going into the day facing possible relegation and they performed well, denying Buccs any clear cut opportunities whilst themselves proving threatening on the counter attack. Team Bath Buccaneers’ best chance in the first half fell to Matt Boote who had to react quickly to a deflected pass, but his effort cruelly rolled the wrong side of the post.
Buccs began to settle into their normal free-flowing game in the second half and were able to put Guildford under more pressure. In the 47th minute Team Bath Buccaneers took the lead when Tim Davenport flicked home a penalty corner, won by some quick thinking from Ben Stone.
Guildford then began to throw caution to the wind, committing numbers forward as they looked for an equaliser. This enabled Team Bath Buccaneers’ quick midfield players to capitalise on the gaps they had left at the back, and Will Seward took full advantage, finishing off a fine move with two minutes to go to seal the win.
Team Bath Buccaneers will sadly have to wait another season before getting another opportunity to take on hockey’s big boys, but will otherwise reflect on a very encouraging season. Guildford managed to avoid the drop, with results elsewhere ensuring their safety.
Cardiff’s win will see them contest the end of season play-offs as they look to join hockey’s elite, whilst Havant are relegated out of the National League.