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Stratford win keeps Old Hales second
9:00am Friday 22nd February 2013 in Sport
OLD Halesonians Hockey Club strengthened their grip on second spot in the West Midlands Premier with a 4-2 win over Stratford.
Despite enjoying most of the early pressure, the hosts had struggled to create chances before Simon Palmer set up Chris Hill for the opener on 15 minutes.
Stratford still hadn’t tested Hales keeper Alex Fraser when quick thinking from Palmer doubled the lead.
The player-coach took a quick pass and fired the ball across the area, where a diving Paul Woodall converted at the far post.
Hales were keen to avoid complacency and Tom Bulteel added a third early in the second half, a goal from which the visitors appeared to self-destruct, with Chris Hill pouncing on defensive chaos to make it 4-0 soon after.
Stratford grabbed two late goals to reduce the deficit but they proved mere consolations as the hosts held out.
The seconds claimed their first away point of the campaign with a 2-2 draw at Finchfield though it could have been all three.
Graham Knight fired Hales into a first half lead and Nic Penn doubled the advantage early in the second period.
But the pressure of several penalty corners took their toll as the ball was deflected past keeper Steve Charlton to make it 2-1 and the hosts then grabbed a leveller from the penalty spot.
Both sides hit the woodwork during a frantic finale.
The thirds lost a seven goal thriller against Worcester by the odd goal, while the fourth XI thumped Bournville 10-1 and the fifths lost 2-0 to Olton and West Warwick.
Elsewhere, Old Hales Ladies had an afternoon to forget as they lost 13-1 at home to Droitwich Spa. The Badgers drew 2-2 at Bournville.