After finishing 2019 on a high, being voted Club of the Year in the Bedford Borough Council Sports Awards, and with the Ladies’ 1st’s becoming East Indoor Champions, Bedford Hockey Club is looking forward to 2020 with great expectations.
Other than a Boxing Day runaround for the hardy members of the Club, most players have enjoyed a well-earned rest. It’s now all to play for though as league results, from now until the season’s close in March, will determine which divisions the club’s 14 senior sides will play in next season.
The club also has various age-groups playing within England Hockey’s Junior and Masters Championships, with play-offs coming up over the next few months.
Whilst most teams will be back in league action next weekend, Saturday was a slip-date for a few matches, and also saw the Men’s and Ladies’ 1st’s move indoors to compete in the Jaffa Super 6s Indoor Hockey Championship.
After a tough weekend of matches, the Ladies 1st’s took 3 wins out of 5, placing them third in their Pool and, for the first time in the Club’s history, saw the Ladies qualify for Division 2 of the Super 6s.
Meanwhile, repeating their successful run with the Super 6s last year, the Men, with 3 wins and a draw, were placed second and, once more, qualify for the Division 2 play-offs.
Four of Bedford’s teams had re-arranged league encounters. The Ladies’ 4th’s and 5th’s both travelled to Letchworth for their contests, and both returned victorious, the 4th XI beating Letchworth 2nd team 2-1, and the 5th XI thwarting Letchworth 3rd team 3-2.
On home turf, the Men’s 6th’s established a comfortable lead over Welwyn Garden City, but then allowed Welwyn to close the gap, increasing the tension in the closing stages of the game. The Bedford team was relieved to hear the final whistle blow, having managed to hold the win, 5 goals to 3.
The Ladies’ 6th XI meanwhile opened their match against Rickmansworth 2nd team with some impressive offensive runs, being unlucky not to find the back of the net. The oppositions experienced defence continued to frustrate Bedford’s numerous advances, and it was they who opened the scoring, against the run of play.
Bedford continued to press, but it was Rickmansworth who persisted in taking advantage of their attacking opportunities. The final score was 4-1 to Rickmansworth but some excellent play that the young Bedford team can be proud of.
The remaining Men’s and Ladies’ senior players turned out for some testing training games, preparing them physically and tactically for the start of their league matches next week.
Words by Jean Fitch & Tom Carr