Welding at the double as Royston start with a win

A round-up of Royston Hockey Club’s opening league matches from the weekend

ROYSTON Hockey Club’s Men’s first team got their season off to a winning start in Division 3SW with a 4-2 triumph over Vauxhall.

The carried on where they left off during what was a largely successful pre-season, and they raced out of the blocks here and found themselves two goals up early on courtesy of Nick Hurd and Mike Welding. They couldn’t build on their advantage despite some good approach play, but a change in tactic to a more direct style of play soon paid dividends as Graham Johnson-Mack bagged his side’s third goal.

Vauxhall pulled a goal back in the second half from a penalty corner, which served to kick Royston into life and it wasn’t long before Welding scored his second to put the game beyond their opponents despite them scoring a late consolation. Royston travel to Winchmore this Saturday.

The newly-promoted Men’s IIs suffered a 3-1 defeat to Broxbourne IIIs in Division 4SW despite taking an early lead through Man of the Match Mark Jacobs’ sweetly-struck short corner. The same player also had a similar effort ruled out later in the first half.

The Men’s IIIs, playing in Division 8SW after relegation last season, got off to a bad start with a 4-1 defeat to Broxbourne Vs. Keith Markham was on target for Royston.

The Men’s IVs, also playing in Division 8SW, beat Winchmore Hill & Enfield IVs 2-1 thanks to goals from Andy Lawrence and Robert Biddlecombe.

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The Ladies’ first team got their Five Counties Premier Division campaign off to a flier with a 5-0 win over West Herts IIs.

Royston could have gone ahead as early as the first minute when West Herts conceded a penalty corner, only for the opportunity to be spurned. Royston weren’t to be detered, though, and they took the lead after 20 minutes thanks to Kirsty McKenzie from a well-worked penalty corner strike.

Two goals followed in quick succession from Ruth Askham and Wendy Holt to end the half three goals to the good.

Goals from Sophie Gathercole and Sarah Buckerfield after the interval sealed an impressive win.

The Ladies’ IIs didn’t fare quite so well in their match against Leighton Buzzard IIs in Division Two, going down 2-1 with Alisha Manuel grabbing the only goal for Royston.

The Ladies IIIs hit six in their convincing 6-0 win over Stevenage Vs in Division Six.

It was a great performance by the team and Lara Gibson in particular who grabbed an impressive hat-trick. Caroline Yarrow, Heidi Whitaker and Lisa Thompson also got their names on the scoresheet.