For the second week in a row ‘home’ hockey fixtures had to be moved to Chepstow Leisure Centre because of drainage problems at at Abergavenny HC’s temporary Monmouth LC base, reports TREVOR SCOTT.
Caerphilly started with intent and it was clear that they were a very competent side.
Abergavenny, hampered by the absence of Kevin Phillips and Joe Sevenoaks in midfield, weathered the storm for the first 15 minutes with goalkeeper Rhys Pritchard making four good saves in quick succession.
But Caerphilly eventually scored from a breakaway.
The home side fought back but a couple of chances for Rhys Davies went begging and within ten minutes the visitors had scored again.
Although Abergavenny managed to defend until half-time it was clear that, unlike their opponents, they were not playing as a team.
Liam Wade and James Gaitskill were having to work hard and Andy Clements, in his usual striker role, was not getting the service he needed.
The warning signs were there for all to see.
Caerphilly’s strong and skillful forward line moved into overdrive in the second period.
Wave after wave came at the Abergavenny defence who, at times, were left chasing shadows.
The ball found the Abergavenny net six more times within a 20-minute period.
Although one of the goals was disallowed, following an appeal, the remaining five were notable for the skills and persistence involved – especially one deflected shot which flashed into the roof of the hosts’ goal.
To add injury to insult, Nate Corken had to retire after being hit on the knee by a dangerous Caerphilly penalty corner shot, thus weakening the home side further.
Captain Darren Richards, returning to the side after injury, led his team enthusiastically and was rewarded by a consolation goal from new player Jacob Holland on his debut.
But after Caerphilly’s whizz-bang performance Abergavenny will have to regroup for their next home fixture on Saturday against Swansea.
Abergavenny Ladies 1st XI 2 Whitchurch 4
On a cool damp morning in Chepstow, Abergavenny faced their visitors from Cardiff without goalkeeper Sharon Phillips who was unavailable to play.
There was no reserve keeper so team captain Kirstie Cashmore had to play with 11 outfield players, and the hosts were at a great disadvantage from the start.
Whitchurch are currently mid-table, so on paper would have expected to win and with the home side fielding a number of young, inexperienced players it was always going to be an uphill battle.
Whitchurch had surged to a 4-1 lead by half-time, Lara Botting scoring for the yellow and blues in reply.
The second half proved to be a testy affair as Abergavenny were fighting back and Whitchurch players received a total of four cards from one umpire.
Kim Cashmore added another goal to Abergavenny’s tally to give them a second half ‘win,’ but it was too little to late, although a 4-2 defeat was a reasonable result given the shortage of their keeper.