The adverse weather returned to create havoc for Bedford Hockey Club’s weekend fixtures, with four senior league games, in addition to the Boy’s Under 16s, and the Ladies’ Over 45s matches all postponed thanks to Storm Dennis.
The Ladies’ 7th’s were however fortunate to have been allotted an early push back, their match being played in relatively settled conditions. Despite being something of a David and Goliath battle, against a Stevenage team who towered over the Bedford youngsters, it was Bedford who opened the scoring early in the first half.
Even with many offensive presses by the Stevenage side, Bedford maintained their one-goal lead right until late in the second half, when Stevenage pulled the scores level; 1-all the final score.
As the weather started to take a turn for the worse, the Ladies’ 5th’s stepped out, putting in a brilliant performance against a well-drilled Enigma side. The evenly balanced match saw both teams passing and defending well and the 1-1 scoreline was a befitting outcome.
On the neighbouring pitch, meanwhile, the windy weather seemed to ruffle a few feathers in a rather feisty skirmish between the Men’s 4th’s and Blueharts 4th’s. After end-to-end action, the upshot was yet another 1-1 stalemate.
The final home match, before all further games were postponed, was the Ladies’ 1st’s. With Bromley & Beckenham sitting just one place below Bedford in the table, it was set to be a close-matched game.
Whilst both sides had goal-scoring opportunities, it was Bedford that succeeded in converting them, Elli Priston finding the back of the net from a penalty corner and Ellie Scott calmly slotting away a goal from open play.
Both teams had further chances, but solid defences kept the final score at 2-0 to Bedford. The win sees Bedford move up into second place in the table, although 3rd placed Barnes, who Bedford travel away to take on next week, have a game in hand.
Only two other fixtures managed to survive Storm Dennis’ onslaught on Saturday. The Men’s 3rd’s travelled to Cheshunt and the 5th’s to Potters Bar.
Despite a 2-0 loss, the Men’s 3rd’s are still holding their second spot in the table, although third-placed Stevenage are hot on their heels, and with two games in hand. This will place extra pressure on the Bedford side when they play their next fixture, which sees them travel away to Stevenage on the 29th February.
The Men’s 5th’s, who also sit second in their table, had greater success securing a 2-all draw against their Potters Bar opponents.
Sunday brought further inclement conditions, meaning the Ladies’ over 45s must now wait until 1st March for their trip to Canterbury, and the quarter finals of the England Hockey Masters Championship.
The Ladies’ over 35’s meanwhile did manage to play their fixture, postponed from last week by Storm Ciara. Their 4-3 victory over local rivals, Letchworth sees the Bedford side through to the last 16 of the Championships.
The final surviving fixture of the weekend was the Men’s 1st’ match, away to Harleston Magpies. The men may well wish it had been postponed, after Harleston gained a decisive 6-1 victory.
Next Saturday, weather permitting, will see another tough game for the Bedford side, taking on Cambridge City. Bedford will be hoping the home advantage, with the fixture being played at the Chester Road ground, will give them the edge.
Words by Jean Fitch