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North Devon shock leaders OPM in Davis Wood Hockey League

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

FINDING A WAY THROUGH: Taw Valley (in black) beat Taunton Vale 7-0. Picture: Mike Southon. To order call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20121110A-020_C

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NORTH DEVON pulled off a shock victory against league leaders OPM.

An own goal and strikes from Sam Witheridge and Pete Smale gave them a 3-2 win, which ended the home side's 100 per cent record.

It will give the Reds confidence they can mount a challenge for promotion from Davis Wood League Southern One.

OPM had gone into the game without even a goal conceded at home, while North Devon had lost their previous three matches.

Jay Hall, the captain, made some big decisions, moving players from their preferred positions.

It paid off in the opening 15 minutes when North Devon took a surprise 2-0 lead, Withering scoring with a sweet half volley and OPM turning Andrew Buller's short corner into their own net.

OPM hit back with a hard strike into the bottom corner, then centre forward Smale got back to clear another effort off the line – to the surprise of his team-mates.

Smale, the man of the match, never gave OPM's defence or midfield time on the ball and he added his side's third goal with a volley before half time.

The second half was about keeping OPM out with a fine defensive display, which was only beaten by a consolation goal seven minutes from time.

North Devon host East Devon at the Park Community School, Barnstaple, on Saturday (2pm).

Taw Valley continue to march clear at the top of the league.

Jo Yeaxley-Batch and Jess Ravenhill scored two each in a 7-0 win over Taunton Vale IV at the Park Community School, Barnstaple, on Saturday.

It was a sixth win out of six games for Taw who are six points clear at the top of the West Clubs Women's League Sedgemoor first division.

Helen Thomas, Charlotte Beauchamp and Helen Johnson scored the other goals against Taunton.

Taw visit third-placed Cheddar on Saturday.

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