|Date||5 December 2020|
|Result||W 6 - 4|
North Devon Hockey Club 1st XI travelled to Cullompton to play Exeter Hornets in their first game back after lock-down 2.0. Games between the two sides have been traditionally hard-fought and again didn't disappoint finishing 6-4 in favour of the Reds.
North Devon started well with Man of the Match Joe Taylor-Richards latching on to an aerial from experienced full back Giles Rowden before rounding the last man and beating the keeper to send the Reds 1-0 up. Shortly afterwards more good work from Taylor-Richards played in Ash Thorne who beat the keeper to make it 2-0. Hornets hit back when a quick free-hit caught the North Devon defence on their heals, a direct ball into the box was deflected past the helpless Sam Wormington. North Devon quickly re-established their 2 goal lead with a well worked penalty corner routine and Thorne deflecting in on the far post. Hornets hit back again with a definitive penalty flick and levelled after a mazy solo run from Hornet's star player presented a tap in to a team mate. The first half finished with a series of 6 penalty corners in a row for Hornets but the North Devon defence were resolute, with keeper Wormington in particularly fine form and managed to get through to half-time with the scores level.
The second half started with an injury to centre-back Matt Brown which led North Devon to a re-structure and a couple of players having to play out of position, Joe Hastie deputising particularly well at centre-back. North Devon re-took the lead when an aerial by Guy Cockcroft was missed by the Hornets defence allowing Taylor-Richards to run in on goal and after coolly rounding the keeper struck the goal of the game into the far corner. North Devon went on to build a 3 goal lead with captain David Orr scoring from a short corner and Ash Thorne completing a hat-trick with another deflected goal over the Hornets keeper. Hornets managed to get a goal back but North Devon were able to comfortably hold on to a well earned victory.
The Reds will look to take maximum points again next week away to Taunton Civil Service before the winter break.