Royston get ready for new campaign with series of friendlies

PUBLISHED: 11:09 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:07 11 May 2010

THIS week saw a series of friendly games for Royston Hockey Club s men s and ladies teams. Royston Ladies firsts started strongly and were rewarded with the first goal of the game against Saffron Walden when Lucy Davidson, pictured, finished off a short

THIS week saw a series of friendly games for Royston Hockey Club's men's and ladies' teams.

Royston Ladies firsts started strongly and were rewarded with the first goal of the game against Saffron Walden when Lucy Davidson, pictured, finished off a short corner with a strong hit into the back of the goal.

Their opponents hit back twice before half time to take a 2-1 lead into the break, but in the second half Royston changed their system and equalised through Davidson after a good move involving Kirsty McKenzie.

Royston kept battling and went into the lead when McKenzie hit the back of the goal to finish off a Katie Ellard and Sarah Warren attack, and they put the game to bed when Vicki Bidwell stormed through the opposition with a sensational run from the defending 25 to finish with a relaxed shot through the goalkeeper's legs.

The Ladies IIs' game was cancelled but the IIIs played and lost 6-1 (their goal courtesy of Wendy Holt) to Saffron Walden Vs.

Moving on the Men's section, the season started on Thursday with the first proper friendly of the season against Cambridge South who were 1-0 up at half time. Heads failed to drop and Royston played some good hockey, especially down the right, and Nick Ross pulled them level before the same player put them ahead with five minutes left following a speedy push out by Andy Drage.

The second Thursday game saw Royston IIIs, IVs and Vs join for a similarly combined Cambridge South side.

Royston's sustained pressure told when newly appointed IV team skipper James Arnold intercepted a defensive clearance before making a good run and passing the ball to Paul Bloomfield who drove the ball home.

The second half opened with the visitors in the ascendancy as they pushed numbers through to overload the home defence and an equaliser came when a midfielder broke unopposed into the circle had a shot which was saved by Nick only for his centre forward to put the rebound away.

Having weathered the Cambridge storm and limited them to just the one goal, Royston looked the team most likely to score the winner for the rest of the match but they were unable to pick their opponents off meaning Royston finished with a decent performance and a 1-1 draw.

The weekend saw the first team lose 6-2 to a good Stevenage side, with their goals coming from Andy Drage and Owen Russell, while the IIs put four past Stevenage IIIs and conceding only once in reply.

Following some good saves by 'keeper Robert Frost, Royston stole the early lead in the second half through Darren Hicks but their opponents bounced back quickly with an equaliser.

They maintained their shape, however, and went ahead through a Nick Broadley with penalty corner before Broadley added the third and Darren Hicks wrapped things up.

Royston IIIs lost 8-1 at Ely IIIs with their goal coming from a Craig Jackson flick, while Royston IVs went down 3-1 against Ely with Ali Wallace getting on the scoresheet.

Royston's newly created youth development side had its first taste of action on Saturday against Cheshunt. Royston fielded no less than seven under-14s but they were not overwhelmed Stephen Gourd scored three as they narrowly lost 4-3.

For information visit www.roystonhc.co.uk

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