GoCrea8 Premiership
Taunton Vale 3, Cardiff University 6
Cardiff Met 4, Taunton Vale 0

TAUNTON Vale men’s 1sts had a double header weekend, at home to Cardiff University on Saturday and away at Cardiff Met A on the Sunday.

Unfortunately, they lost both league fixtures, to leave them marooned at the bottom of the Premiership table, eight points adrift from safety with only three league matches left.

On Saturday, they started brightly enough against Cardiff Uni, each team trading a goal – Vale’s coming from forward Liam Pigden.

However, a quick double by the students gave them a 3-1 lead at half time.

Vale again started the second half strongly and scored twice through Sam Young, with only one in reply from Cardiff to leave the match delicately poised at 4-3 with about 10 minutes to play.

Vale withdrew their keeper from the team and played with an attacking 11 outfield player set-up.

But in pushing forward for an equaliser, significant holes were left at the back and Cardiff picked up two easy goals to put the match out of reach.

On Sunday, the away trip to Cardiff Met gave an opportunity to blood a few extra players to 1st XI hockey.

Despite battling hard, Vale conceded four goals without replying.

They play away this coming Saturday at seventh-placed Firebrands (12.30pm start), and only a win will do to stave off relegation.

Conference South
Firebrands A 4, Taunton Vale A 0

VALE 2nds travelled to Bristol to face second-placed Firebrands, and were quickly a goal down.

After having a goal disallowed, the visitors were four down by the break.

Some motivational words from Dan Rogers meant Vale heads didn’t drop as they defended strongly and were unlucky not to pull a goal back.

Vale, bottom of the table and three points off safety, host ninth-placed Shepton Mallet this Saturday (4.30pm).

Central 1
Somerset Gryphons 3, Taunton Vale B 1

VALE’S 3rd XI were left to rue a number of missed chances as they succumbed to defeat against lower-half rivals Somerset Gryphons.

On a difficult surface, Vale forced a number of penalty corners which they were unable to convert.

Gryphons took the lead with a quickly-taken free hit but the away side equalised through Colin Jewhurst.

The second half saw Vale in the ascendancy, but Gryphons retook the lead, leaving them with a mountain to climb.

The visitors began to dominate possession, but with the home side playing deep, they failed to create any clear-cut chances.

As Vale pushed forward looking for the equaliser, their hosts broke at pace and scored the decisive goal with just seconds to go.

Man of the match: Richard Clements

This Saturday, Vale take on City of Bath at home (3pm) in another battle of the basement teams in Central 1.

South East 1
Taunton Vale C 1, Minehead 10

VALE C hosted league leaders Minehead and took the lead early in the game when skipper Chris Foster latched on to a through ball from James Duder, rounded a defender and slotted home.

Unfortunately, this was the only highlight for Vale, as Minehead put five past them in the first half and another five in the second.

Eighth-placed Vale go to Tiverton, who sit fifth, on Saturday (3.30pm).

South East 2
Taunton CS 4, Taunton Vale D 1

THE 5th XI took on Civil Service in the much-anticipated all-Taunton derby.

The Vikings weathered early pressure from the hosts before going ahead, somewhat fortuitously, with a deflected shot by Derek Truman.

Civil equalised soon after, and it was 1-1 at half time.

Early in the second half, Vale continued to contain Civil’s attacking threat while creating chances of their own, but they were ultimately undone, conceding three goals in the final 20 minutes.

The defeat leaves Vale in ninth position with three games of the season left to secure safety in the league.

They are three points ahead of second-bottom Minehead B, and on Saturday they host basement side Sidmouth & Ottery C (11.30am).