Plymouth Marjon secure surprise 2-1 Premiership hockey win at leaders Isca
PLYMOUTH Marjon upset Davis Wood Hockey League leaders Isca 2-1 in Exeter to revitalise the Premiership promotion race.
Plymouth's first league win at Isca since 2005 enabled University of Exeter A to take over at the top following their 11-1 win at basement side Whitchurch A on Sunday.
Delighted Plymouth Marjon head coach Jamie Oxley said: "The boys produced their best performance of the season – and probably for several seasons – by winning at Isca.
"Having lost late on at home to them it was a great victory and adds to a string of fine away performances, which includes a win at new leaders University of Exeter A last October."
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Oxley admits it is hard to pinpoint why sixth-placed Plymouth have saved their best hockey for tough away games.
The Plymouth hockey stalwart said: "On paper Isca and University of Exeter A away – the top two sides – are our hardest fixtures of the season, and yet we have won them both and lost at home in to them both. It is perplexing and I cannot explain why."
One major factor was Plymouth skipper Simon Fenwick was able to field the strongest first team line-up of the season with Joe Downton, Jamie Hill, Dave Lynch and Phil Mutlow all available to shore up the Marjon defence.
It proved pivotal as the home side forced nine penalty corners and yet trailed 2-0 by the time Tom Whitworth set up an exciting final 10 minutes with his late home goal on the hour.
Ben Thomas roofed in Plymouth's second half opener from an acute angle before Jevon Rimmer rounded home 'keeper Jordan Teague to tee up Matt Bell for a tap-in.
In-form Plymouth 'keeper Ben Blundy again produced another top-class display to limit the promotion favourites to their late reply.
Promotion-chasing PGSOB remain second in Conference South following their fourth win in a row, a 4-1 home victory over Bridgwater.
Mike Davison (2), Colin Wood and an own goal ensured PGs stay hot on the heels of leaders Isca A ahead of next weekend's top of the table clash against their rivals in Exeter.
University of Plymouth remain third – a point behind PGSOB – following a 4-0 home win over second bottom Sidmouth & Ottery.
Plymouth Marjon B slipped to sixth following a 5-3 defeat at 10th-placed Bodmin, who got off to a flying start. Plymouth were always playing catch-up despite goals for Tom Hodgins, John Whitfield and Josh Dale-Burrows.
Southern 1 leaders OPMs also remain on course for promotion after clinging on for a 3-2 home win over 10th-placed Camborne School of Mines despite being without talismanic skipper Alex Peacock.
Chris Frude returned from injury to score the crucial second-half winner and add to first half goals from Ben Lock and Jon Williams.
PGSOB A eased their relegation concerns with an important 2-1 win at Truro A thanks to two-goal hero Paul van Beveren.
Tavistock remain second from bottom following a 4-0 defeat at Penzance, while basement side Plymouth Marjon B lost 4-2 at Dart.
Caradon soared to third in Southern 2 following a 2-1 cross-Tamar derby win over United Services Plymouth, who slip to fifth.
In the West Clubs Women's Hockey League top flight Plymouth's joy at winning 2-0 at Exe 2 was short lived as they suffered back to back defeats.
Plymouth's top women's team lost 5-3 at Premier One basement side Bristol University on Sunday following a 4-1 home Saturday defeat by Lydney.