Feisty draws kick off new National League season for Bedford Hockey Club

Image: Bedford Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI

Saturday brought the opening of the National League season for Bedford’s Ladies’ 1st XI with a hard fought draw against local rivals, St Albans.

With the home crowd providing great support, play was evenly balanced, with end-to-end action, although St Albans were always quick to take advantage of any errors the Bedford team made.

It was St Albans who were to open the scoring, putting Bedford under immense pressure.

As the clock ticked down, it looked as though St Albans would walk away with the win but a late breakaway up the pitch culminated in a pass into the ‘D’, which was picked up by Emma Pinny and slotted into the back of the net.

The 66th minute goal brought much celebration from the gathered spectators and secured a 1-1 draw for the Ladies.

The Bedford squad will travel away next weekend, hoping for a match-winning performance against Sutton Coldfield.

On Sunday, the Men’s 1st XI also opened their campaign, making a 200-mile round trip to Lichfield.

The game marked their first league fixture since being promoted back to the National League, and the first experience by a number of the team of performing at this level.

Unperturbed, the team were able to return home with a creditable 3-3 draw.

It will be the Men’s turn for a home fixture next weekend; a game which will be played under floodlights, with push-back not being until 6pm against Harborne.

Elsewhere, there was a loss for the Men’s 2nd XI at Upminster by two goals to one, and for the Veterans who lost by the same scoreline at Havering.

Draws for the Men’s 4th and 5th XI’s were supplemented by a barnstormer of a game for the 3rd XI, who eventually secured a 4-3 home win against Stevenage.

There was also a mixed bag in the Ladies division, with the 2nd XI losing 2-1 at Havering, but victories for the 3rd’s and 4th’s, both by a 2-0 scoreline.

The Ladies 5th and 6th XI also faced off with the 5th XI winning 4-0.

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