Fareham and Havant look to make home advantage count and win their first England Hockey Western Conference matches of the season on Sunday.
Beaten 4-2 by champions Team Bath last week, Fareham host Exeter-based Isca at Henry Cort (1.30).
Newly promoted Havant look to build on last week's excellent 1-1 draw at Cardiff Met when Birmingham University visit the College, 2pm. Matthew Boote returns for last season's South Premier League champions.
Winchester, who won South Premier 2 last term, begin life in SP1 at Milton Keynes, but will have neither Trojans-bound Chris Jackson or the unattached Rob Moore on duty.
Trojans host Wycombe at Stoneham Lane (1.30) eager to push off on a positive note following last season's on-going relegation worries.
Trojans ladies thumped Oxford Hawks 6-0 in their opener but can expect a tougher ride at Gloucester City.
Trojans ladies hit Oxford Hawks for six to get their England Hockey Women’s Western Conference challenge off to a near perfect start.
They cashed in on Oxford’s late arrival due to the M3 traffic chaos and scored three times before Hawks had a proper goalkeeper on the pitch. They went on to win 6-0.
Oxford were forced to field skipper Bex Oakes in a kicking back role while goalkeeper Jess Hughes was struck in the traffic – and were 3-0 down when the minder arrived only to watch Heather Batten scream a drag flick into the roof of the Hawks net.
By then, Trojans were well in command on the back of a fourth minute opener by Cat Horn and a second from Bex Treharne.
It was virtually curtains for Oxford when Batten converted that penalty corner and all over bar the proverbial shouting a minute before half-time when Kat Petch fired a low shot across Hughes into the far corner.
Four ahead at half-time, Trojans added a fifth early in the second period when Treharne had a shot saved and Jill Tombs scored from the rebound.
Heather Batten completed the scoring for Trojans, who visit Gloucester City this Saturday.
Two Team Bath goals in three second half minutes wiped out Fareham’s half-time lead and pointed England Hockey’s Western Conference champions to a 4-2 win at Coombe Down.
The Bath students seized a 15th minute lead through Harry Skinner following short corner pressure, but a Jamie Rawlings drag flick and a second from open play by skipper Alex Boxall put Fareham’s noses in front early in the second half.
When goalkeeper George Harris, pictured, beat out Matt Ming’s penalty stroke, Fareham grew in confidence. [Harris saved two penalty flicks in last season's relegation play-off victory over Indian Gymkhana].
But they have never beaten the Buccaneers and their prospects of ending that unproductive five-year sequence were shattered when Team Bath upped the tempo and Sam Anderson and England Under-21 prospect Peter Scott turned the game on its head with two goals in quick succession.
A fourth Bath goal by Adam Croutear wrapped it up.
Fareham look for a better outcome when Isca, beaten 4-2 by relegated Olton & West Warwicks, visit Henry Cort on Sunday, 1.30.
Southampton Ladies are off to a winning start in South Women’s League Division 3B courtesy of Nat Romain’s goal ten minutes from time at Lewes.
Predictably, the visitors were pinned on the back foot for the initial period of the first half, but gradually Southampton gained a foothold and created some unconverted chances of their own before half-time.
Lewes did have their own opportunities after the break, but Southampton’s slick passing led to the winner ten minutes from time when Lou Hopkins fed a great pass through for Romain to score.
The win put Southampton in good shape for Saturday’s noon Sports Centre derby with Fareham, who held Wimbledon 1-1 in their opening game, with Jo Faulkner on target.
* Southampton are holding a MacMillan Coffee and Cake morning at the Sports Centre on Sunday between 9 and 11am.
Newly promoted Havant picked up a highly credible point from their opening day England Hockey visit to frequent Western Conference high fliers Cardiff Met, where a second half equaliser by Maciej Janiszewski earned them a 1-1 draw.
Lack of preparation time due to the closure of the M3 either side of Winchester was not reflected in Havant's start to the game at Sophia Gardens, with Mike Deller-Merricks breaking through the Cardiff defence down the right and trying to feed the ball to Maciej Janiszewski in the circle but the pass was intercepted by a Cardiff defender.
Cardiff soon came to life and won an early penalty corner which was charged down by Craig Duffy, but another corner was awarded as the ball clipped Craig's foot. Chris Bristow saved well from the second penalty corner low to his right.
Havant soon won their own penalty corner following good work down the left channel by Duncan Marsh, who used all his experience to find a defender’s foot. The Cardiff goalkeeper saved a good effort from Jonathan Pickett, but again a second corner was awarded, but this flashed wide of the post.
The game continued at a high tempo and Adam Bloomfield nearly gave Havant the lead, but his effort just went wide of the goal. Cardiff then won their third penalty corner, which again was well saved by Bristow in Havant's goal.
The half ended all square and Havant were pleased with their performance and also with the performances of the returning Sam Hatherley and also Matt Cox in midfield who were developing a good partnership in the middle of the pitch. Skipper Raj Laly was also pleased with youngsters Ethan Hoddle and Dan Ferrier who were making National League debuts today.
Havant started the second half as they had the 1st with Ethan Hoddle linking well with Mike Deller-Merricks, but again the Cardiff defence held firm. Cardiff were then awarded a green card and then a second card soon after and were down to nine men, but Havant could not take advantage and the score remained 0-0.
Midway through the period and back to full strength Cardiff (who included Fareham teenager Will Raymond in their ranks) won their third penalty corner of the game. The execution was not good with the flick from the top of the circle was fluffed, but it fooled the Havant defence and Cardiff took the lead through Rhys Bradshaw from the resulting rebound.
This was tough on Havant who had defended well, but they were soon pushing forward for an equaliser. It was not until six minutes remaining that Havant levelled the scores. Maciej Janiszewski pressured the Cardiff defence and stole the ball off the full back and rifled in his trademark backhand shot into the back of the goal.
This was just reward for Havant who had competed all game with an experienced Cardiff side and Havant nearly stole all three points as Indy Laly drove into the Cardiff circle and only missed his teammates stick by inches on the far post.
Trojans Ladies got off to a perfect start in England Women’s League Conference West with a 6-0 thrashing of Oxford Hawks after a delayed start at Stoneham Lane.
Oxford found themselves caught up in the M3 traffic snarl-up and, playing with a bare 11 including a kicking back, found themselves 3-0 down before their goalkeeper arrived. They changed round 4-0 down and were eventually hit for six.
Trojans scorers were Cat Horn, Bex Ahern, Heather Batten (2), Jess Lea, and Jill Tombs.
Promoted Trojans II thumped Buckingham 4-0 in their South League Division 2 debut while Fareham were held 1-1 by Wimbledon. Southampton beat Lewes 1-0.
Newly promoted Havant and Chichester pulled off creditable results in the opening round of England Hockey League matches, but Fareham were beaten 4-2 at Team Bath Buccaneers, having led 2-1.
A 64th minute equaliser by Maceij Janiszewski enabled Havant to draw 1-1 at Cardiff Met, while Andy Sparshott (14), Jamie Whitehouse (24) and Ollie Baxter (39) scored to give Chichester a 3-2 win over East Conference rivals Richmond.
Fareham fell behind to a Harry Skinner strike at Bath, but goals by Jamie Rawlings and Alex Boxall either side of half-time put them 2-1 up. Two Bath goals in three minutes by Simon Anderson and Peter Scott made it 3-2 before Adam Croutear got TBB’s fourth.
Sam Hatherley has returned from his university stint with Team Bath Buccaneers and plays for Havant in today’s England Hockey Western Conference opener against Cardiff Met at Sophia Gardens, 12.30.
Joining him is formr Chichester and East Grinstead midfielder Matt Cox, ex-Trojans striker Dan Ferrier and Rhodri Jones, a defender from Nottingham.
Havant, last season’s South Premier League winners, hope to have a Pakistan Olympian in their ranks (subject to a visa being issued) and will have Matthew Boote (Team Bath) on duty during the school holidays.
Looking to build upon the successes of last season when they won the England Hockey National Vase at Lea Valley Olympic Park, Southampton have appointed Fareham's Jonathan Price (JP) as Men’s first team coach.
"His appointment is part of Southampton’s on-going development plan to continually raise the quality of coaching across the club and further strengthens our coaching team," explained SHC chairman Paul Meacher.
"JP is a national league player at Fareham and has a wealth of coaching experience gained locally and nationally.
"He will join the coaching committee, will support the development of our coaches at all levels and have specific responsibility for the men’s firsts with the objective of lifting them to South Level hockey over the next few years."
As a continuation of the development strategy, Southampton have also appointed Phil Maunder to join Linda Dunham as Ladies 1XI coach.
"This will allow Linda to combine her vital role as 1XI goalkeeper with the coaching responsibilities," Meacher added.
"The Ladies have similar aspirations to move towards South Premier level over the next few years. Phil has been coaching within the club and elsewhere for a number of years."
Meacher described the appointments as "exciting times for the club."
Seven-goal Southampton super striker Sue Merry led the way as England Over-55s won the European Women’s Masters Cup in Tilburg.
Goalkeeper Linda Dunham and Southampton club-mate Fiona Jarman also return from the Netherlands with gold medals, their England team winning all six tournament matches.
In the younger age group bracket, Sam Mackenzie and Stella Bendoni won England Hockey Future's Cup Medals, the Wessex Leopards won the Under-15 boys gold medal and the U15 girls Wessex Leopards won the Bronze medal.
Wessex Leopards is one of the four England teams, who played along with Scotland and Wales in the Home Countries tournament.
Having avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, probably the least welcoming opener for Fareham would be a trip to the reigning England Hockey Western Conference champions.
But off to Team Bath they go for a Saturday mid-day start – but with a far stronger looking side at their disposal.
Former East Grinstead playmaker Niall Stott and Loughborough University’s Luke Cornish are among seven new Fareham signings which gave given Ben Barnes’s side a completely fresh look.
Fareham had to beat Cheshire outfit Oxton and Indian Gymkhana in last season’s National League relegation play-offs.
But, realistically, they should do much better this time around, especially with Cornish and ex-Chichester striker Martin Gough sharpening up their goalscoring prowess.
Scotland Under-21 international Christian McKenna and Will Jones have also joined the Henry Cort set alongside two ‘overseas’ recruits.
Lanky Dutch Under-18 defender Stijn Kram and Australian David Andersson complete the set of new faces.
Fareham’s only significant departure is teenager Will Raymond, who has joined Cardiff Met – a switch which links in with his Sport & Exercise Science university degree course in South Wales.
Head Coach Ben Barnes says; “It’s been a good pre-season with the new players coming in making a difference.
“We have genuine tough decisions to make this season and this can only be a good thing in pushing the group and the team forward.
“Away to Bath, the league champions and habitual contenders, is as hard a start as we could get, so we shall see how we are doing as a group.
“The squad have trained really hard and applied themselves to some new ideas and tactics really well, I cant fault their effort and application.
Pre-season results have been mixed, with wins over City of Peterborough (3-1), Sevenoaks (5-3) and Teddington (6-5), and defeats to Oxted (3-1) and Old Loughtonians (5-2) in last weekend’s PLUM tournament at Lea Valley.
“But it’s been a case of bedding players in. We’ve really concentrated on fitness and conditioning, the crunch comes at Bath on Saturday,” Barnes added.
Fareham will renew acquaintances with newly promoted South League champions Havant in the Western Conference, with the first derby at Henry Cort on Sunday October 8.
Trojans ladies look to build on last season’s fifth place finish when they open their National Women’s League Western Conference programme against Oxford Hawks at Stoneham Lane on Saturday, noon.
David Rutherford has been appointed coach – he had vast experience with Reading Ladies and more recently Portsmouth Grammar School - and will work alongside evergreen goal predator Sally Gibson, who will expect to be among the scorers on a regular basis.
Jenny Peebles continues to captain Trojans, who have Cannock and Reading among their opponents this winter, writes Mike Vimpany.
Gill Adams has joined from Horsham and Jess and Hannah Lea will be joining their sister Imogen, who was selected for the England Futures Cup squad during the summer.
Portsmouth University student Freyja Haigh has returned to Stoneham Lane from Eastbourne.
Trojans have their newly promoted second team playing in South Women’s League Division 2 this term and start at home to Buckingham II (1.30pm).
Jo Slade will continue to captain the team, which been strengthened with the addition of Lexie Spurr, from Worthing.
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