The Luxborough Lane faithful were treated to an outstanding game of hockey on Saturday as Old Loughts and Exeter University battled to a 1-1 draw in National League One South.

Nathan Gladman was returning to Loughts in an Exeter shirt for the first time since leaving for university, with many of the Loughts team having enjoyed their undergraduate years in the city which added to the anticipation and atmosphere.

The students started at lightning speed, playing the ball with clever lifted passes which were difficult to intercept, but could not convert three early penalty corners.

Loughts matched Exeter for sharpness and determination and saw keeper Jack Tranter and opposite number James Carleton make some fine saves to keep the score even.

After 15 minutes Exeter did find a breakthrough with a well struck shot from Nick Nurse and the pace did not dip in the second quarter as both teams tried to find an opening.

Stick skills from James Thomas and Andy Macgregor in midfield had the crowd cheering but time and again both defences dug deep and thwarted dangerous attacks.

At the other end Rob Bloss and Ed Fleet dealt calmly with every Exeter incursion and without conceding another penalty corner all match.

Loughts finally took control in the fourth quarter although Exeter remained very dangerous on the break and with five minutes left and after a sixth unconverted penalty corner Loughts were awarded a flick after an Exeter player illegally blocked a shot on goal.

Mark Loughrey stepped up to take the flick but it was slightly overhit and agonisingly bounced off the post.

Despite their disappointment, Loughts continued to press and as Watson charged into the box and was fouled from short range, Loughts were awarded a second flick.

Loughrey stepped up and popped the ball into the net only for the umpire to order a re-hit as the whistle had not blown. The crowd held their breath as Loughrey stood over the ball for a third time before coolly rattling the backboard.

With three minutes to play Exeter came back fighting, but were rebuffed by Loughts who with seconds to go, launched one final attack which ended in a foul inches outside the D as the final whistle was blown.

Loughts travel to Old Cranleighan this weekend.

The M2s visited Old Southendian M1s and competed well for the first 50 minutes, despite losing Jamie Askam to a nasty bump to the head.

Loughts dug in well and played some good hockey, well served by Frederick Goddard who had an excellent game in goal.

They put the best chance of the first half just over the bar and conceded in the second half after a rash tackle in the goal area.

A second followed soon after as Loughts were caught on the counter by a well-crafted goal and, after two yellow cards followed in quick succession, further mistakes led to two more goals.

The M3s had a convincing 3-1 win against Harpenden M1s with Tom Stumbke scoring on his return to action, but the M4s lost 2-1 against Saffron Walden 3s.

The M5s Willows had a convincing 4-0 win against Southend 2s as Rob Gayler scored two early goals and Alex Bond and Ozzie Pandor added the others.

The M6s Willows Woodsmen lost 4-1 to Old Southendian 4s, but the M8s won 3-2 against Old Southendian 6s as Thomas Madden scored twice and Kayhan Binazir scored the third.

The Supervets lost 2-1 to Tulse Hill & Dulwich Musketeers.

Old Lought women consolidated their position in third place in the England Hockey Women’s Conference East with a hard fought draw against local rivals East London.

East London had the best of the early exchanges as they took the game to Loughts in a determined effort to take the win and move themselves away from the relegation zone, but player of the match Phoebe Menear was in fine form in goal and equal to everything thrown at her.

Loughts became more of a threat after the break with captain Tash Patient driving forward and creating opportunities.

With 12 minutes left the deadlock was broken as the ball fell to Katie Gleeson inside the D and she squeezed it home at the near post.

But East London equalised when Loughts turned the ball over and, although Menear got her stick to the shot, Bea Allan found the net.

Penalty corners for both sides went unconverted as the game closed out and the game ended all square.

Loughts host Spencer next Saturday in their penultimate home fixture of the season.

Elis Halil equalised for the W2s with 12 minutes to go at Sudbury 1s, before the hosts scored in the final minute to win 2-1.

The W3s did not have a match as Basildon 2s have withdrawn from the league, while the W4s drew 1-1 with Old Southendian 2s and the W5s lost 1-0 to Havering 3s.