Old Loughtonians Women’s 1s were involved in a titanic struggle with second placed London Wayfarers W1s at Luxborough Lane on Saturday evening in a second v third clash in the England Hockey Women’s Conference East. In the pouring rain Loughts started well and Hannah Bloy came close to opening scoring; driving into the D and forcing a good stop from the Wayfarers keeper. Phoebe Menear in the Loughts goal was not to be outdone and made a number of fine saves to repel Wayfarers efforts. As the first half drew to a close Loughts were in the ascendency and were unlucky not to break the deadlock as Maddy Newlyn fired just wide on her reverse.
The third quarter was a scrappy affair and Loughts had to ride a period of Wayfarers’ pressure to keep the game scoreless as the final period commenced. Old Loughtonians were dealt an early blow as they received two yellow cards within a minute and had to manage the game with great skill whilst down to 8 outfield players. However Loughts were to have the final word as they won another penalty corner in the last minute of the game. Wayfarers had a defender sent to halfway for breaking early and Loughts exploited this with Em Davies and Newlyn exchanging passes and Davies smashing the ball home with seconds remaining.
A phenomenal win for Loughts, their sixth on the spin, has kept them in third place and closed the gap on Wayfarers in second to 2 points and leaders Guildford to 4 points. The other half of the Davies sisters, Player of the Match Georgia, was outstanding at the back and was a key part of Loughts making it five clean sheets so far this season. Next Saturday they are on the road in Surrey as they face Old Georgians.
Laura Oglesby and Kareena Myers scored for the women’s 2s who came back from a 2-0 deficit to secure a 2-2 draw against St Alban’s 3s. The women’s 3s played very well against Malden 1s and led at half time but Malden scored twice late in the game to take all three points. The women’s 4s lost 6-1 away at Bishops Stortford and the women’s 5s lost 2-1 against Malden 3s with Sadie Vohman scoring.
The men’s 1s had a poor start against Havant and conceded two early goals. In the second quarter Loughts pulled a goal back from a penalty corner which Matti Thomas slotted home after an initial save by the Havant keeper. Max Sydenham then scored two in quick succession and at half time Loughts looked comfortable and in control. Everything changed after the break when Havant equalised within a minute of the restart and despite sustained pressure Loughts could not find a way past the Havant keeper who had an outstanding afternoon.
With ten minutes to go Havant were awarded a penalty corner for a clumsy tackle outside the D seen as deliberate from which they scored. Loughts continued their onslaught on the Havant goal but Havant defended well and survived 5 short corners. Loughts thought they should have been awarded a flick following yet another short corner when the ball appeared to be stopped illegally on target but after much deliberation a penalty corner was awarded instead which the Havant defence once again repulsed and the game ended 3-4. Next week Loughts (still in second) travel to Sevenoaks.
A depleted M2s team played well and drew 2-2 with Saffron Walden 1s. The men’s 3s could not raise a full team and had to concede the points to Bury St Edmunds 1s. The M4s played well against second placed Waltham Forest 2s and were disappointed to lose 1-0. The M5s Willows drew 1-1 with Old Southendians 3s with Luke Bennett scoring and the M6s Willows Woodsmen lost 5-1 to Saffron Walden 4s. The M7s Willows Rangers won 4-1 against fellow strugglers Waltham Forest 5s. Harjinder Singh scored twice and Mohan de Souza and Rehan Sheikh each scored one. The M8s Willows Axemen lost 1-0 to Ilford and Redbridge 3s