Exeter students have cause to celebrate on and off field of play
University of Exeter celebrated being voted university of the year with a big 5-1 Men's Hockey League Conference West win at Fareham.
Free-scoring Exeter soared to second after getting off to a flying start with Josh Godfrey's fourth-minute opener.
Andrew Ross doubled the students' lead from a 12th-minute penalty corner and Exeter – who won 4-0 on the road at Firebrands last week – never looked back.
James Carson made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute and, although Fareham – 6-2 winners at Hampshire rivals Havant the week before – made it 3-1 two minutes later, Exeter were not finished.
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Godfrey scored his second in the 41st minute and Ian White wrapped up a big win on 59 minutes.
Exeter's promotion credentials will be put to the test next Sunday at home to unbeaten Cheltenham, who drew 1-1 with leaders Guildford last Saturday.
The top-of-the-table clash at University of Exeter Sports Park starts at 12.30pm.
Isca University also scored five, to beat newly-promoted Taunton Vale 5-0 in Women's Conference West.
Isca University rocketed up to third following their emphatic home win with goals from skipper Claire Thomas (on six minutes) Tam Pascoe (eight, 38) Taryn Beuthin (47) and Zoe Burrell (57).
Former Clifton ace Carla Dunnett set up Thomas for a reverse-stick opener before Pascoe smashed in Isca's second from the top of the D.
Thomas said: "Although we had most of the pressure, we were unable to increase our lead in the first half."
However, Pascoe doubled her tally within three minutes of the restart and then set up Beuthin to make it 4-0 before Burrell capped another impressive clean-sheet home win.
Isca have an early 11.30am start at Firebrands, Bristol, in round four on Saturday. Brands – fresh from a 2-0 win at Stourport – boast the division's leading scorer, five-goal Georgie Field.
Isca men made a flying start to the new Davis Wood Hockey League Premiership season, winning 7-2 at home to Taunton Vale, while last term's runners-up University of Exeter A beat Cardiff University 2-0.
Newly-promoted Swindon won at Plymouth Marjon despite an opening first-half goal for the home side's South African ace Kyle Pinnock.