HOCKEY: Clifton bounce back to form with a win over University of Birmingham
IN Investec Premier Division, Clifton Ladies were 4-2 winners at University of Birmingham.
Clifton opened the scoring after 21 minutes when recently-capped England international Jo Leigh provided the perfect cross for Aileen Davies to guide the ball home. Confusion in the visitors' defence allowed Faye Curran to equalise for the students eight minutes later.
Early in the second half, a speculative Els Mansell shot was deflected into the goal by a defender and gave Clifton the lead for the second time.
Fleur Horner's side were dominant for most of the second half and the captain increased her side's lead with a goal following a penalty corner. The home side rallied and reduced the deficit to a solitary goal with five minutes remaining. However, Clifton regained their two-goal advantage when, following a penalty corner gained by Dawn Mitchell, Emily Atkinson scored just before the final whistle.
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Mansell was Clifton's player of the match in a pleasing performance which will need to be continued on Saturday when high-flying Canterbury visit Coomb Dingle (1pm).
Clifton hope to welcome back Steph Addison, who missed the Birmingham game through illness. Firebrands Ladies gained another fine win defeating visiting Taunton Vale 3-0 in National Conference West.
The consistent Linda Webb opened the scoring and Charlotte Tuplin scored the second on the stroke of half-time. Abi Porter completed the scoring after the break to earn the team all three points. Firebrands visit Barnes, Hounslow & Ealing on Saturday.
Firebrands Men produced another performance full of pride and passion at National Conference West leaders, Guildford, but went down 5-3. The home side raced to a 4-0 lead before the inform Michael Blair scored two Firebrands goals, one of which was a spectacular reverse stick deflection from a cross by Tom Atkinson who went on to score Firebrands' third goal.
Firebrands entertain Fareham on Sunday (2pm).
In Davis Wood Men's League, Firebrands 2nds beat Hereford 3-0 in Conference North and then overwhelming Penarth 8-0 on Sunday in a rearranged game. Matt Kinal, Will Godfrey and Mark Lunt scored on Saturday and Lunt (4), Tom Crook, Tom Evans, Will Godfrey and Will Kerr were on target in Sunday's win.
Firebrands 3rds claimed a league double over Shepton Mallet in Central One. Tom Millar, Andrew Short and Rich Sambrook gained Ross Opie's team a 3-2 interval lead and despite the leaders scoring an equalising goal shortly after half-time, Michael Caplan grabbed the winner to gain a 4-3 victory. Firebrands 4ths, despite a James McCrea goal, lost 5-1 at Mendip, but bounced back in a rearranged game on Sunday to beat Old Bristolians 4-1. Dan Cullum (2), Max Edelstyn and Phil Woolins scored the goals. Westbury/Utd Banks were 7-4 winners over Swansea in the Championship with Joe Thomas (3), Gary Roper (2), Gareth Nichols and Chris Cutts on target.
A hat-trick from Zeyn Mulla gained Westbury/Utd Banks 2nds a 3-0 win over Team Bath Buccs C and Westbury/Utd Banks 3rds defeated West Wilts A 3-1. Matt Taylor (2) and Nathan Walkey scored for the winners.
Westbury/Utd Banks Wanderers lost 4-0 against Shepton Mallett A and Westbury/Utd Banks Wizards drew 0-0 with Somerset Gryphons A.
Toby Whitehead (2) and Duncan Ogilvie earned Westbury/Utd Banks Warriors a 3-2 victory over Old Bristolians E in Central Division Three.
Westbury/Utd Banks Widgets won 6-0 against South Gloucs B. Ben Spencer (2), Tom Hall (2), Andy Griffin and Steve Millman scored for the winners.
Goals from Oli Valentine and Ella Hurst helped Westbury Badgers to a 2-0 over Somerset Gryphons.
Yate won 6-4 against City of Bath, Marcus Smith (2), Thom Fowler, Jordan Reed, Chris Sullivan and Conor Pinnell scored for Yate, while Benji Mason was player of the match.
Yate 2nds overcame West Wilts B 2-1, Sam Patton and Jonny Matthews scored the goals for the winners. Mark Harris scored twice for Yate 3rds in a 3-2 defeat against North Somerset.
In the West Women's League, Firebrands 2nds, who were decimated with injuries, managed to gain a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth in Premier One, Chris Britten scored for Firebrands, but in a rearranged game on Sunday lost 1-0 at Exe.
Yate lost narrowly 3-2 against Team Bath in the same division. Stacey Andrews and Sally Ellis scored for Yate.
Yate 2nds went down 5-2 against local rivals Jaspers. Holly Constable and Ceira Blackstock scored for Yate.
Goals from Alex Bissex (2), Cath Greenman, Sandy Masters and Hannah Cullimore earned leaders Yate 3rds a 5-0 win against a depleted Thornbury 3rds, while goals from Zoe Barnett (2), Amy Kynaston (2), Vicky ball and Becca Murray gained Thornbury a 6-1 win over Pucklechurch, Beth Black replied for the losers.
Three goals from Jo Fricker and strikes from Amanda Hughes and Holly Stephens gave Wick in a 5-0 victory over Dursley and Gill Bailey and Tracey Jones earned Thornbury 2nds the points in a 2-1 win over BAC 2nds.
Firebrands 3rds were involved in a goalless draw against Cheltenham CS in North Division.