Bourne Deeping Dragons were hit by a late Cambridge University 2nds equaliser as they were held for the second successive Saturday.
Having watched the ladies destroy Cambridge Uni 4-1, the Dragons wanted to make sure they started focused and with intensity.
They limited the University side to one short corner and a few half chances in the first half and created a couple of short corners which broke down at the push and stop stage and no shot was registered.
Bourne Deeping forced a couple of smart saves from the University keeper from open play but the side struggled to put passes together and the basics let them down on a number of occasions during a goalless first half.
Fitness started to impact on the Dragons’ ability to play through the lines in the second half and they played end-to-end hockey which suited the students better.
Stuart Biggs and Simon Miles kept running and one of these rare forays into the Cambridge D resulted in a short corner which a good routine ended with man-of-the-match Andy Williams deflecting high into the net.
The game began to get scrappy and Bourne had to dig deep while not playing well to keep the slender lead.
Unfortunately, with only seven minutes to go and not reacting to a free hit, it resulted in the University boys smashing the ball into the circle and with Shane Carlton saving the first shot the second was bundled into the net.
The Dragons came away with a point but were disappointed with the performance because they know there is so much more to come from a very talented side.
Bourne Deeping 2nds overturned a two-goal deficit to earn a share of the spoils in their Division 3NW clash with St Neots.
They lacked intensity initially which allowed two poor goals to be conceded in quick succession.
This was a wake-up call for Dragons who found motivation to attack the opposition’s goal for large periods of the first half without success.
They started the second half well, instantly putting pressure on the St Neots defence with good runs from Robin Edlington, Jonny Allen and Chris Meadows.
Strong tackles from Graham Brewer, Ollie Browne and Matt Clarkson with controlled distribution from James Taverner in the centre of the field allowed Bourne Deeping into the game.
They scored their first goal as Andrew Dodds heroically threw himself towards the back post and deflected the ball into the empty St Neots goal.
As the game was nearing the final stages, strong attacks finally came to fruition when the ball fell to Tom Pollard who finished well to claim a well-deserved point in the dying stages of the game.
Bourne Deeping 3rds were edged out in a close Division 4NW contest against Cambridge South 2nds.
They were compact and controlled but did not create enough in front of goal despite the best team performance of the season to date which saw Treve Wagstaff equalise before Cambs South re-took the lead before half-time.
The second half, although drawing a blank on the goal front, was equally combative which left Bourne Deeping facing a third loss of the season.
Despite fielding just the bare 11 players, Bourne Deeping 4ths recorded an excellent away success at Alford in Division 4NW.
Alford had some fast and skilful players which looked to dominate play in midfield and attack through numerous short corners they won, however, it just wasn’t their day.
The 4ths first attack of the half ended up with Chris Mann receiving a deflected cross in the D and he sent the keeper the wrong way and slotted in past two defenders.
Disciplined defence kept Alford at bay and Bourne doubled their lead before half-time before Mann scored his second with a good finish early in the second half.
This truly burst Alford’s bubble and the 4ths went on to dominate as victory moved them up to fifth place in the league.
Bourne Deepings 5ths returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over a tenacious and persistent Alford 2nds side.
The Dragons fielded their strongest side of the season, but were a little slow to get going and Alford were first to score when poor defending allowed the opposition a clear shot at goal.
Fortunately an equaliser came relatively quickly when Windsor’s initial shot was finished by Waters.
A second goal was then added by Waters after converting a brilliant and powerful cross by captain Foston.
The welcome return of Hotchkin and Byrne allowed domination of the midfield and Clack was able to utilise plenty of space on the right to press Alford back.
A third goal was added after the break following a strong build up by the Dragons and, after a number of shots were blocked, Windsor finally scored with a short range shot.
Alford looked dangerous on the break and keeper Ashby made some useful saves, but Bourne Deeping always looked the more positive side and should really have added further goals.
A tough match awaits on Saturday for the Dragons against in-form Leadenham, the only team in this division with a 100 per cent record.
After a disappointing performance last week, Bourne Deeping 6ths gained a point from a tougher test against relegated City o Peterborough 8ths.
Right from the outset the Dragons dominated play with slick and clinical passing, an uncommon feature in Division 6NW hockey.
Alex Flint was a constant threat on the right and Ethan Edwards likewise on the left, supported by the midfield powerhouse of Mark Cox, Zach Cox and Harry Moss.
The Dragons got the goal they deserved 25 minutes in with defender Eoin Briggs and Will Gray combining to pick out player of the match Ben Britain who had two shots saved only for Gosnell to make it third time lucky, hitting the rebound into the goal to get his first senior goal.
After half time CoP unsurprisingly came out strong but the ever reliable back three of Mark Lovejoy, Geoff Wadsworth and Briggs ensured keeper Ollie Wright was only called into action occasionally.
The Dragons continued to press forward with Sam Staines linking up well with Cox senior and junior as well as forward Harry Wakeham but none could find the end result.
CoP received a string of short corners but keeper Wright was in inspired form until on the fifth attempt the defence cracked and CoP got the equaliser.
The final five minutes were clumsy from both sides but, when the final whistle went, the Dragons knew they were by far the stronger side in the 1-1 draw.
Bourne Deeping Ladies overcame a difficult start to ran out 4-1 winners in their Division 3NW match at Cambridge University 3rds.
A solid defensive display and some fine saves from their goalkeeper kept Bourne Deeping in the game until midway through the opening half when the Dragons took the lead.
Izzie Oakley seized on an error from the opposition and set up Jo Beacham to sweep the ball home with a first time shot.
This combination proved crucial for Bourne Deeping after the break as they joined forces to help Beacham bag a brace in the second half to complete her hat-trick.
Oakley also set up Bourne’s other goal before Cambridge grabbed a late consolation with a breakaway goal.
Unbeaten Bourne Ladies 2nds recorded a third successive victory after a hard-fought 1-0 win over their third team club-mates in Division 4NW.
A scrappy opening first half saw the 2nds go close as Helena Daraugh’s crosses created openings which were thwarted by excellent goalkeeping from Rose Taylor-Jackson.
The 2nds showed more control after the break and good link up play from Kirsty Martin and Millie Fitch in midfield resulted in several chances.
The 3rds’ stubborn defence also repelled a couple of short corners before the 2nds finally found a way through.
A quick free hit from Dawn McShane into the circle saw Sarah Morgan-Walters finally connect to the final ball and hit a fine shot past a diving Taylor-Jackson.
The 3rds then applied the pressure with strong hits from midfield through to the forward line but, with a strong defensive display, the 2nds were determined to not give up their lead.