HOCKEY: Taylor fires Bridgwater to derby victory

Bridgwater Mercury: HOCKEY: Taylor fires Bridgwater to derby victory HOCKEY: Taylor fires Bridgwater to derby victory

Bridgwater Mens I 5, Taunton Vale II 3

BRIDGWATER kept their promotion push on track with a 5-3 victory over local rivals Taunton Vale on Saturday.

Andy Taylor bagged a superb hat-trick, while Carwyn Jenkins and Matt Slocombe added the rest to complete a hard-fought victory for Bridgwater.

It was Taunton Vale who had the first sight at goal and took a surprise lead with a short corner routine finding the back of the net.

The goal acted as a catalyst for Bridgwater who increased the pace and intensity of the match, producing three excellent goals to turn the match on its head.

The first was calmly taken by Andy Taylor when played through by Nick Bennett.

The second a rare goal for Carwyn Jenkins, following a mazy run from Tim Bennett into the Vale D, which found Jenkins on the penalty spot who finished like a 20-goal-a-season striker.

The third goal followed soon after, built from the back and finished by Andy Taylor at the back post.

Winning the ball back in defence, Scott Upham played the ball forward for a neat exchange between Joe Sibley and Jenkins to find Liam Pigden on the left wing.

He played a good 1-2 with Martin James and crossed for the unmarked Taylor for 3-1.

Vale did find a second goal though a quickly taken long corner which caught the Bridgwater backline off guard and a good finish was applied.

Sitting slightly deeper Bridgwater used their pace on the counter to good effect, adding two further goals before half time.

On a hat-trick, Taylor scored a spectacular reverse lob and Matt Slocombe scored from a short corner 'drag flick'/'pass'.

Going into the second half 5-2 up, Bridgwater were happy with their position in the game and started well, creating a couple opportunities on the counter.

Tim Bennett and Sibley went close before tired bodies and some questionable decisions against both sides caused the game to become scrappy.

In this period, Taunton Vale got a third goal, but created very little extra to trouble Bridgwater keeper Pete Saunders.

Next week Bridgwater host promotion rivals Ashmoor.

Bridgwater Mens II 6, Minehead II 1

BRIDGWATER II continued their push for promotion with a 6-1 thrashing of Minehead on Saturday.

Chris Cullum (2), Paul Tilley, Harry Stephenson, Tom Willis and Tim Sullivan netted for the hosts, who cruised to On a rare sunny and warm afternoon in Bridgwater, skipper Lee Chorley must have put something into the team's drinking water as Bridgwater started fast and hard which caught Minehead by surprise.

The first attack led to a goal when a short corner flicked by Paul Tilley found its way to Chris Cullum who expertly scooped the ball into the roof of the net.

Cullum added his second from close range minutes later, before Willis powered home with venom.

Morrish took advantage of a moment of confusion in the Minehead defence as he drove a free hit from just outside of the 'D' for Tilley to deflect the ball to rocket past the keeper, and go in off the post.

Minehead started to get a small foothold in the game getting a well worked and determined goal of their own which did create a little panic as they had a good spell of possession.

But it was Bridgwater who scored the next goal from Harry Stephenson, who having just injected the short corner, controlled his baseball-like swing to convert a deflected ball into the net.

With minutes left Minehead made a critical error allowing Sullivan to sneak through the defence and finish for number six.

Bridgwater Mens III 6, North Devon II 1

BRIDGWATER cruised to a 6-1 victory over North Devon on Saturday, thanks to a brace from Steve Turvey.

Phil Morrish, Dan Pigden, Ben Lewis and Sean Hedaux were also on the score sheet in a convincing win.

Bridgwater started the better team and went ahead early in the game.

The goal came from a short corner where Rich Payne stopped and pushed the back to injector Phil Morrish, who scored from an acute angle.

A fast break led to the second goal when Will Pope found Rich Payne who laid the ball through to Dan Pigden to slot in under the keeper for 2-0.

North Devon got a goal back but Bridgwater then scored two more goals in quick succession when a Rich Payne shot rebounded for Ben Lewis to hit in and Steve Turvey got his first goal of the game tapping in after good work from Payne.

Bridgwater then got their fifth goal through Sean Hedeaux - and last goal came when Payne on another run, beat the defence, committed the keeper and laid the ball off for Steve Turvey to tap into an empty goal for 6-1.

Bridgwater Mens IV 3, OPM III 1

BRIDGWATER'S fourth team rode their luck to beat OPM and maintain their position at the top of the table.

Against a team second from bottom, Bridgwater could have reasonably expected a comfortable win and started off positively forcing the OPM defence into a number of early clearances.

did manage to open the scoring shortly before half time as Dan Batten's cross-shot was deflected into the OPM goal by one of their defenders.

Bridgwater started strongly at the start of the second half, but failed to take advantage of their opportunities before eventually Steve Pigden diverted Marcus Blyth's cross into the OPM goal.

OPM's persistence was finally rewarded as they pulled a goal back from a penalty flick.

With Bridgwater now hanging on, OPM came close to pulling level on a number of occasions, forcing Hutter into a number of fine saves, however, it was Bridgwater who scored next as Mike Davidge combined with Pigden who scored his second and Bridgwater's third.

Bridgwater now face a difficult away fixture against the league's form team Chard.

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