With further strong winds and heavy showers, most of Bedford Hockey Club’s senior sides will have been relieved to have had a rest day at the weekend, the date being reserved as a slip-date for postponed fixtures.
Just six of the club’s teams were in action on Saturday, including both 1st elevens; the Men having a double-header on Saturday and Sunday.
The Ladies’ 1st’s travelled to take on rivals Barnes and will be disappointed to have switched places with them in the table after Barnes took a 3-2 victory. Barnes now sit second and Bedford third, with Wimbledon continuing to hold top spot.
The Men’s 1st’s knew it was going to be a challenging weekend; Saturday seeing them take on second-placed Cambridge City and Sunday, third in the table Chichester.
It was the Bedford side who opened the scoring against Cambridge, but it wasn’t long before Cambridge levelled the scores, and then pulled ahead. The Cambridge team proceeded to have a dominant run, scoring a number of goals in quick succession.
At 5-1, Bedford opted for an eleventh field player, in place of their keeper, and took some control back in the game, preventing Cambridge from adding to their score line.
Despite some attacking presses, which tested the Cambridge defence, Bedford just weren’t able to get the finish they needed, other than one final consolation goal as Cambridge City prevailed 5-2.
Sunday failed to bring any better luck for the Men, after they trekked to Chichester losing 4-2.
The Ladies’ 3rd’s were the only other team to have an away fixture, heading to Hertford, and Bedford were overjoyed to return home victorious against the league leaders after gaining a valuable 1-0 win.
Just one other ladies’ team was in action, the Ladies’ 4th XI, with a feisty game against a forceful Stevenage squad. Bedford remained composed however, and succeeded in gaining a 2-1 triumph.
After going 1-0 down to an early goal by Bishops Stortford 2nd’s, the Men’s 4th’s meanwhile, pulled two amazing goals back to take the lead, only for Stortford to pull level, and then take the lead again. Not giving up, Bedford kept pressing and their efforts were rewarded with a late equaliser and a 3-3 draw.
Saturday’s final home fixture was the Men’s 2nd’s. Despite having scoring opportunities, it was Wapping who took the lead. After numerous unsuccessful offensives, the Bedford team also resorted to removing their keeper.
Whilst it seemed that the equaliser was on the cards, with Bedford forcing a number of short corners in the final phase of the match, it wasn’t to be and the game ended 1-0 to Wapping.
Sunday saw Bedford Hockey Club host the Quarter Finals of England Hockey’s Men’s Over 60s Master’s Championships. A combined Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire squad, including a large number of Bedford players, took on the Old Silhillians.
Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire looked like they’d got it in the bag, leading 2-0 at half-time. The Old Silhillians switched up a gear in the second half and pulled level. A further goal-a-piece took the full-time score to 3-all, and so on to a penalty shoot out.
A nail-biting shoot out ensued but, sadly, it was Old Silhillians who took the victory by 8 goals to 7, and they head on to the semi-finals.
Next weekend is President’s Day at the Club, with those attending having the opportunity to see plenty of action, with six home fixtures across the day.
Both the Men’s and Ladies’ 1st teams will be looking to reward the crowd with home victories, as will the Ladies’ 4th’s and 5th’s along with the Men’s 2nd’s and 4th’s. All other teams have away fixtures, as the battle for final league positions continues.
Words by Jean Fitch