HOCKEY: Pilgrim super double is key to Bicester progress

Bicester 2nd skipper James Pilgrim scores one of his brace goals in the 5-2 home win against Oxfordshire rivals Witney 3rd on Saturday

Bicester 2nd skipper James Pilgrim scores one of his brace goals in the 5-2 home win against Oxfordshire rivals Witney 3rd on Saturday

First published in Sport

Skipper James Pilgrim took his tally to seven goals for the season as Bicester men’s 2nd cruised past Witney 3rd for their second successive 5-2 victory in MBBO League Division 5.

The home side put Witney under pressure from the outset and went ahead after only six minutes, Pilgrim powering home following a penalty corner routine.

Bicester should have added to their tally, but were let down by poor finishing.

And they paid the price when Nick August levelled from a penalty corner.

However, Bicester restored their lead a minute later when Mike Bywater crashed the ball into the roof of the net.

Ten minutes before the break, an exquisite pass from hard-working midfielder Chris Tarratt was touched home by Mike Bywater for 3-1.

Within five minutes of the restart, Bicester bagged a fourth goal. Gordon Brass pounced on a loose ball after Witney failed to clear.

Although Dave Vermeulen pulled one back for the visitors, Pilgrim put the icing on the cake with a cool reverse stick finish for his second and Bicester’s fifth.

Bicester were thrashed 5-0 at unbeaten Division 1 leaders Oxford Hawks 3rd.

Bicester 3rd edged to a 4-3 win at Wycombe 5th in Division 5.

The home side started well and took the lead early on.

But the visitors equalised when Jason Crook’s shot was parried by a Wycombe defender into the path of Chris Birch, who flicked the ball home past a stranded keeper.

Bicester were still celebrating when Wycombe nosed into a 2-1 lead.

The visitors recovered their composure to level when Nick Styles flicked the ball home.

And it got even better for Bicester when they scored two quick goals.

Firstly, Andy Kaye dribbled past two players before calmly pushing the ball under the diving keeper for his first senior level goal.

Crook made it 4-2 with another super strike, only for Wycombe to claw one back.

But Bicester held on for victory.

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