First defeat of season as Rutland let lead slip

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Wisbech 2nd 5 Rutland 1st 2

RUTLAND’S Men were finally beaten in the league last Saturday, going down 5-2 at Wisbech in fixture re-arranged after the weather-enforced, winter break.

The game started with Rutland dominating play and comfortably in control, displaying some fast, slick and accurate passing to carve through the Wisbech team.

It was not long before Rutland created a glorious passing move down the right with a simple cross in for Jordan Allen to slot home.

Not long after, a break developed down the left side which saw James Grant cut through into the D and score Rutland’s second.

It looked good for Rutland who had become used to the winning feeling this season. They continued to dominate but missed two chances that appeared certain goals, which would have put them comfortably in the lead.

And they were made to pay. Wisbech launched a few good breaks of their own, forcing two good saves from Dean Armstrong in goal.

Just before half time Rutland made a basic error in defence and gifted a goal to Wisbech and they never recovered their composure,

In the second half Rutland seemed focused on their earlier error and looked somewhat dishevelled in defence. This allowed Wisbech to score four more goals in relatively quick succession putting the game beyond Rutland’s reach.

In the last 15 minutes Rutland came back into the ascendancy, launching attack after attack and winning several short corners. But they were unable to make any inroads into the deficit and fell to their first defeat of the season.

Coach Dave Richardson said: “Rutland must bounce back and learn to deal with some of the heavy handed play that is meted out these days to breakdown their fast incisive play.”

Rutland: D Armstrong, O Carrick, J Ashwin, O Evans, J Grant, H Robertson, N Pinner, S Perry, B Harford, J Allen, O Browne, P Comben.

l Rutland Men’s 1st XI currently sit second in their league but will have to stay focused to ensure promotion this year.

The average age of the team is just 17 with all the players still available next year which bodes well for the future.

The Men’s 2nd XI, competing in the same league, have shown they are no pushover lying fifth.

The 3rd XI, having been promoted into a new league this season, have been finding their feet with yet another young squad and won their first game just before the break.

They will certainly go from strength to strength as the season progresses while the 4th XI is where the club bloods its young players for the future.

With such a wealth of young talent being developed through the DFV Hockey School at Stamford, the youth sides have done extremely well in the last year. The Boys’ U16s won the National Youth Plate competition and the Club has a strong U18 side still in the National Cup.

The DFV Hockey School runs at Stamford High School for elite young players with three groups: Seniors (Monday, 7.30-9.30pm), Intermediates (Friday, 7.30-9.30pm) and Juniors (Fridays, 6-8pm).

Rutland Hockey Club runs a Junior Club on a Sundays at Uppingham School (10.30am-midday) for players aged 6 to 13. More details at www.rutlandhockeyclub.org.uk