Slazenger moved into second place in North Hockey League Division 2 East after this crushing defeat of lowly Marton Furness. Slazenger’s hero was Mike Thornicroft who grabbed a well-deserved second-half hat-trick.
It would be easy to say this was a game of two halves as the score line was goalless at half-time. However, this does not tell the true story. Slazenger had almost total dominance of possession in the first period but found it difficult to break through some stubborn and aggressive defending. At the other end, Ivan Wood was in supreme form marshalling the home side’s defence with cool authority.
Once Thornicroft grabbed his first at the start of the second half with a well taken flick at a penalty corner. The floodgates then opened. The home side blitzed the Marton defence and scored a further four goals inside 15 minutes with one penalty stroke in reply. Swift attacks followed one another and ended with cool finishes from the ever-willing Chris Hayton and a second for Thornicroft. James Swinden chipped in with a thunderous strike from a penalty corner and Thornicroft completed his hat-trick soon after good work down the right from Paul Wiper.
The side from Middlesbrough grew increasingly desperate and lost all discipline, having two players sin-binned for crude challenges. With Mark Swinden and Johnny White anchoring midfield and Simon Chamberlain raiding down the right, Slazenger grabbed a deserved final goal from Mike Shaw following another good passing movement. The Horbury side were unlucky not be awarded a penalty stroke in the final minutes as Adrian Buckley was up-ended in the circle.
Slazenger look to consolidate their position near the top of the table away at Norton on Saturday at 1.30pm.