england hockey league logoUniversity of Exeter skipper Olly Deasy was full of praise for his team as the greens marked their England Hockey League top flight return with a pulsating 3-2 home win over Reading.


Deasy said: “It was a fantastic opening day result against a very good team. The boys played superbly and a 3-2 win is a brilliant way to start the season, especially against a team of the calibre of Reading.


“They have got some seriously good players and for us to come out and play really well against them is a great way to start – and I still genuinely believe that we have got another gear in us.


“I think we will look at pushing on against Bowdon next Saturday and look forward to giving them a really good game.”


The students host Bowdon at the water-based University Sports Park on Saturday at 12.30 bidding to build on their opening success.


Reading opened the scoring through Somerset-born Great Britain and England central defender Simon Mantell from a trademark 15th minute penalty corner conversion.

The home side responded with two goals in the space of two minutes. John Sterlini converted from a sublime angle to restore parity on 25 minutes and two minutes later James Royce raced in to volley the home side ahead.


Sterlini scored the second of the game in the 50th minute during an impressive attacking spell from the home side before the inevitable late rally by Reading, with Mantell converting another penalty corner two minutes from time.


Men’s Conference West newcomers Cardiff & UWIC also marked their promotion with an opening day home win, beating Guildford 2-0 with goals by Robin Lovegrove (3) and Dafydd Tomos (23 PC).


Cheltenham lost 5-0 at Havant ahead of Saturday’s home game against TeamBath Buccaneers, beaten 2-1 by visitors Whitchurch despite Tim Davenport’s sixth minute opener following a penalty corner. Joe Naughalty (21 PS) and Simon Miles (39) replied.


Cheltenham’s game against Buccs at Balcarras School starts at 12.30.

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