Marlow grasp the early initiative but fail to hold onto lead against Hawks

Marlow Men’s 1sts let slip a two-goal half-time lead as they were held to a 3-3 draw by closest rivals Oxford Hawks 2nds at Pound Lane on Saturday.

Despite failing to hold onto their lead in the second half, they remain top of the table and two points above the Hawks.

In an exciting, topsy-turvy fixture between the league's best sides, Marlow grasped the early initiative through Lewis Goodman's scrambled finish before a rocket of a shot from Chris Sewell made it 2-0 before the break.

The Hawks looked like a different team after the interval, however, and levelled the match with two well-taken goals. The visitors continued to press and nudged in front with a third goal before Marlow refocused in the final quarter and grabbed a 60th minute equaliser through George Evans.

The game was open and frenetic in the final minutes but neither side was able to find a winner and the result was good enough to keep Marlow on top of the table.

Marlow 2nds produced a desperately disappointing first half display as they lost 3-0 at Wallingford 1sts.

Marlow came into the game just two points behind their hosts and looking to leapfrog them in the table, however, they got off to the worst possible start when the home side opened the scoring from a short corner and two further goals gave them a stranglehold on the game by half-time.

Marlow were much improved after some stern words from coach Tess Howard at the interval but, despite dominating possession and creating several chances, they couldn't put the ball past the Wallingford keeper who had a superb game.

Other results saw the 3rds draw 0-0 with Oxford Hawks 5ths, the 4ths lose 4-2 against Bicester and the 5ths go down 5-0 away to Staines 3rds. The 6ths beat the Reading Rascals 2-0 away and the 7ths drew 2-2 with South Berks 7ths.

A perfectly placed strike from Jane Smith set Marlow Ladies 1sts on their way to a 4-0 win over local rivals Henley 1sts at Pound Lane.

The home side started strongly but were initially thwarted by some outstanding saves from Henley’s young keeper. Henley were also sharp on the counterattack and only some excellent defending from Natalie Riches and Katy Windsor prevented them from getting in on Dibs Haisman's goal.

Smith's goal proved the turning point. Jen Martin made it 2-0 with a rocket of a shot from a penalty corner five minutes after the restart and Kerri Smith followed up last week’s hat-trick with two goals in four minutes to put this game to bed.

Henley showed fight in the latter stages and forced a series of penalty corners, but the Marlow defence held firm. Martha Goodridge was named player of the match and, with other results going their way, the side moved top of the table.

They travel to Oxford Ladies 1sts next Saturday, the side just below them in the standings.

There was a solid 4-0 away win for the 2nd team at Oxford 2nds and they remain second in the table behind Oxford University who they play next week.

The goals were shared between Helena Sekora, Eleanor Sharpe, Estelle Palmer and Colette Fitzpatrick.

Other results saw the 3rds draw 2-2 with Oxford Hawks 4ths, and the 4ths lose 2-0 at Windsor 1sts. The 5ths drew 3-3 with Sonning 3rds while the 6ths thumped Wallingford 5ths 12-0.

The junior results saw the u16s boys exit the cup after a 2-1 defeat to Wimbledon while the boys 14sB team lost 5-3 against Wycombe in the T2 Plate. The boys u18s beat Blueharts 3-0 in the T2 Cup but the girls u16sB team lost 2-0 against Reading in the T2 Cup.
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Maidenhead Men's 1sts have slipped to the bottom of the table in the South Central Hockey League Premier Division 1 after losing 6-0 to Oxford University at Altwood School on Saturday.

Captain Phil Cowell had hoped the side’s greater experience would count in their favour against their younger opponents, however, they were comprehensively outplayed.

They will be hoping to have a few more players make themselves available for Saturday's trip to second placed Reading 2nds.

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