DURHAM’S students handed out a lesson to Olton & West Warwick’s first teams last weekend.
The men’s side were schooled 3-1 by University of Durham in their Division One North clash, while the ladies went down 3-0 in Investec Division One North.
Durham were in control against the men’s side and took a 17th-minute lead as a reward for their efforts, sweeping home after a penalty corner was hastily cleared.
A second followed from open play just after the half-hour mark, while a third on 48 minutes – this time devised from a penalty corner – put them virtually out of sight.
While the hosts did register on the scoreboard through Tom Mallett, Olton never looked likely to rescue the game against their fitter, younger opponents.
Durham remain top of the table, while Warwick remain fifth.
In the first of two matches over the weekend, the ladies experienced similar struggles against Durham’s ladies side over the course of the 70 minutes.
While the opening half was a goalless affair, the students soon turned on their class and broke the deadlock through a 42nd-minute penalty corner.
Attacking pressure from Olton threatened to restore parity, though the visitors tipped the game further in their favour with a second from open play on 52 minutes.
A third 11 minutes from time was the killer blow, putting an end to any hope of a comeback.
In Sunday’s trip to Swansea the following day, the task did not get any easier for Olton against a side flying high in second.
That standing was reflected in the one-sided opening to the game, with Swansea taking a fourth-minute lead from open play, followed by two further goals in the 11th and 20th minute.
Facing the prospect of another one-way defeat, Olton hit back five minutes into the second half to show signs of life when Sade Gerald pulled a goal back from open play.
A second followed two minutes later, this time through Kate Brough, to suggest the unthinkable was on the cards.
Momentum remained with Olton after the quickfire goals but it remained to be seen whether their attacking play would bear fruit.
Those fears proved correct as the next goal went in the hosts’ favour, putting Olton on the back foot once more to put an end to their revival hopes.
Olton stay fifth.
THE STRUGGLES of Solihull Blossomfield continued with a 3-1 humbling by Stourport Seconds in West Midlands Premier.
Stourport were often unsuccessful in their attacking efforts after solid resistance by Solihull’s defence, though a breakthrough eventually arrived midway through the first half.
Sam Lloyd hauled Bloss back on level terms, but were twice caught out in the second half despite controlling the play.
After their 13th defeat of the campaign, Solihull remain second-bottom.
The Seconds claimed a much-needed win in South West Division One, doing so in style by running out 5-0 victors at home to Stratford Thirds.
Richard Weaver gave Bloss the lead after quarter of an hour, while Mike Mowat put the hosts in the driving seat when tapping home from close range.
This dominance in play and on the scoreline continued as Weaver and Harry Mowat both struck, followed by Tom Armanani’s late goal to lift Solihull up to ninth.
Blossomfield Ladies lacked in cutting edge in their Midland Region League Division One loss to Telford & Wrekin.
The 2-1 defeat, in which Solihull trailed almost from the start, proved a tough one to take considering the number of chances that fell the way of the visitors.
A one-sided second half resulted in a Blossomfield equaliser when Vicki Luckett finished clinically from a short-corner situation, with the switch in momentum suggesting a go-ahead goal was not too far away.
Unfortunately, a second goal for Bloss did not arrive, as Telford struck from a deflected attempt to win the day.
Solihull remain eighth.
Nuneaton put the Seconds to the sword in their 5-0 rout in Warwickshire League Division One.
A 4-0 half-time deficit reflected the balance of the game, though an improvement in the visitors’ resilience meant rock-bottom Bloss limited their fourth-placed hosts to just the one goal after the break.