Team meeting has got North Devon hockey season back on track
NORTH DEVON struggled to find form in the first half of the Davis Wood League, losing five matches.
But a mid-season team meeting seems to have given the Reds renewed focus.
And they began 2013 with a 2-1 away win in Saturday's Southern One match against Plympton Grammar School Old Boys A (PGSOB).
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The game began with the recurring theme of North Devon being physically and mentally unprepared and they were fortunate not to concede early on.
Captain Jay Hall lifted his team, though, and they hit back with Pete Smale and Dave Orr's swift two-touch passing breaking the PGSOB defence to leave Sam Witheridge with a simple sweep into the goal.
PGSOB responded with fast movement, which unsettled North Devon and earned four short corners, the last of which they scored from to make it 1-1 at half time.
The second half was a different story as North Devon dominated, punishing PGSOB for their lack of organisation and teamwork.
Composed defending from Matt Brown kept the home side on the back foot, while Richard Locke linked well with Andrew Buller and Orr.
But while North Devon ruled the second half, they were not clinical in front of goal and time was running out.
Their luck changed at the end of the game when a Guy Cockcroft pirouette pass set Smale up at the top of the D. He took one touch to set himself and struck the ball high into the top-right corner.
Now on a four-match unbeaten run, fifth-placed North Devon play Tavistock at the Park Community School, Barnstaple, on Saturday (2pm).