IN A CRUCIAL showdown between Ashmoor Second XI and Duchy, the stakes were high as Ashmoor fought to avoid relegation.

From the first whistle, it was evident that both teams were hungry for victory but it was Ashmoor who drew first blood. Just minutes into the game, Ashmoor capitalised on a penalty corner opportunity, with Matthew Pearce delivering a stunning volley to put his team ahead. But Pearce was not finished yet. With precision and skill, he orchestrated another scoring opportunity, earning a penalty stroke that he confidently converted, leaving Duchy's goalkeeper with no chance to save.

Despite Ashmoor's dominance, Duchy refused to back down. In a stroke of luck, they managed to capitalise from a penalty corner of their own. The momentum shifted momentarily but Ashmoor quickly regained control.

Pearce once again showcased his prowess, finding the back of the net for the third time in the half, this time assisted by Morgan Stokes.

As the second half commenced, Ashmoor continued to assert their dominance on the pitch. Captain Tyrone France led by example, extending his team's lead with a well-timed goal, assisted again by Pearce.

Harry Little's exceptional play set up yet another scoring opportunity as he linked up with Pearce who passed to Cellan Stokes, to widen Ashmoor's lead to 5-1.

Ashmoor hockey
Matt Pearce goes for goal. Picture by Mark Lockett Photography. ( )

Ashmoor emerged victorious with a final scoreline of 5-1. With this crucial win, they avoided relegation.

Meanwhile, Ashmoor Third XI put in another stellar performance to record an excellent 3-1 win in their final league game of the season. 

Ollie Brown gave Ashmoor the lead after 10 minutes with a crisp shot that found the bottom corner. Although Ashmoor had much the better play they could not add to their tally, and Torbay equalised when the ball was given away by the home side's defence so the teams turned round at 1-1. 

After the break Ashmoor asserted themselves well and forced a foul on the goal line leading to a penalty stroke. The ever reliable Karl Butler despatched it to the top-left to restore Ashmoor's lead. Sam James went close to making it 3-1 with a first-time effort after great work down the right by Tom Frappart. 

Midway through the second half Ashmoor did open up a two-goal lead with Brown working his way into the shooting circle and beating the ‘keeper. There was more drama as Torbay won a penalty stroke of their own but, having wrong footed Andy Kay in Ashmoor's goal, the Torbay striker saw his effort go agonisingly wide of the other post. 

Ashmoor hockey
Karl Butler waved goodbye in style. Picture by Mark Lockett Photography. ( )

The game was Ashmoor's fifth undefeated in a row, with John Lilley's team finishing the season on a high after battling though some tricky patches. Karl Butler, in his final match for Ashmoor was named player of the match.