The Team Bath Buccaneers men’s 1st team are top of the tree this Christmas after a flawless first weekend of the Jaffa Super 6s indoor tournament, coming home from Bromsgrove with four wins fron four games.
After successfully retaining their place in the top tier of English indoor hockey for the first time last season, Buccs got the new campaign off to a flying start as they beat Loughborough 5-2 thanks to some lethal finishing from Ben Mackey and Josh Mardell who converted five of their six short-corner opportunities.
They then edged out Brooklands of Manchester 3-2 thanks to incredible defensive performances from Toby Vaughan, Andrew Eversden and Matt Simmonds plus some top saves by captain Stephen West.
Sunday’s fixtures looked the most difficult of the weekend on paper, with Reading – finalists from two seasons ago – and Holcombe both boasting some established indoor talent.
Trailing 2-1 in the closing stages against Reading, Buccs won back-to-back shorts corners which were once again converted by Mackey and Mardell to turn the game on its head. They then managed to thwart a last-minute short corner from Reading to secure their second successive 3-2 victory.
The final game saw Buccs impress against a newly-promoted but very strong Holcombe side, with Mackey taking his personal tally for the weekend to eight goals in a 5-2 victory.
West, Eversden and Vaughan produced another superb display at the back, while John Jackson Cam Heald, Sam Anderson, Peter Scott and Adam Croutear also caught the eye.
The four wins mean Buccs, under the leadership of Jon Williams and Tom Skinner, are the only team with a 100 per cent record at the midway point of the competition and they also boast the best defensive record. Their place in the top flight is already secured for another season but they will be looking to reach their first-ever national finals weekend when the competition resumes on the weekend of January 6&7.
The next fixtures after the Christmas break are as follows:
6.1.18 – East Grinstead at 12:30pm & Surbiton at 5:30pm
7.1.18 – Sevenoaks at 1pm & Wimbledon at 4pm