Round-up of the action from Bourne Deeping Hockey Club
A 5-1 defeat is not often viewed as a ‘positive result’, but that was the case for a young Bourne Deeping first team in their match against the University of East Anglia.
Up against a squad of 16 university students in their late teens/early twenties was always going to be a test, but it was testament to the fitness levels and organisation within the squad that they were able to stay in the game right up until the third quarter.
And, had it not been for a couple of individual errors in the second half, Bourne Deeping could well have set up a nervous finish for the university side.
It took the visitors until the 23rd minute to open the scoring, and in truth, Langley in the Bourne Deeping goal had dealt well with anything thrown at him.
But this was no back to the walls defensive display as the Dragons competed well across the park and it took a short corner and a wrong-footed goalkeeper to break the deadlock.
The previous week had seen a similar opening – 0-0 until midway through the half but then one goal led to two and three before half-time and the game already slipping out of reach. This time, there was no such collapse as the Dragons went in at half-time just the one goal down.
It was strange that after a great first half that the second started so sloppily, conceding early with a UEA striker given time and space for the first time in the game.
Hugo Brill then scored the team’s first goal of the league campaign when a pass was slipped right and he coolly slotted the ball under the goalkeeper.
The first of two defensive errors then proved costly and effectively ended the match as a contest.
The ball was given away from a 16 yard hit out, intercepted and finished with an excellent reverse stick finish into the bottom left corner of Langley’s goal.
A penalty corner was then fired straight at the right post-man who should have done better.
It is these kind of errors which are ruthlessly punished at this level and the Dragons must continue to work to eradicate that from their game.
A fifth goal for UEA came as Bourne Deeping were down to 10 men with Andrew Kind sent to the bin for a poor tackle.
Despite the defeat, there was so much to take away that will have pleased the Dragons’ coaches – not least of all the 100 per cent effort and commitment in defence and attack and the willingness to put in a shift not just at 0-0 but even at 5-1.
Like many clubs affected by Covid, this is a new team and will take time to gel, but the signs are there that things are heading in the right direction.
Bourne Deeping fourths went down to a 3-0 away loss at Long Sutton 2nds.
Their hosts were a very well oiled machine who looked to strike at any opportunity and they soon established a two-goal lead.
A lot of heart was shown by the Dragons for the remainder of the half with players working extremely hard up and down the pitch.
While Long Sutton did manage to score in the second half, Bourne Deeping put in a more organised display and there were lots of positives to take out of the game.
Bourne Deeping Ladies recorded an excellent two-goal victory against Cambridge University 3rds despite travelling with the minimum 11 players.
The first half saw both sides play some good hockey, however, the Dragons worked well as a team and managed to generate multiple opportunities on goal.
They took the lead when Lucy Norman hit the ball across goal for Kiera Maxey to convert but Cambridge responded and the Dragons' defence had to stay strong.
Bourne Deeping pressed for a second goal after the break and Maxey seized the opportunity to fire home in a one-on-one with the home goalkeeper.
The remainder of the second half saw the Dragons make the game their own with some excellent passing around the back and some lovely team play working the ball up the pitch.
The ladies seconds produced a battling display in their goalless draw with Wisbech.
Their defence of Rachel Portlock, Jess Anderson, Isia Jasińska and Penny Linsdell were in fine form as Wisbech held the upper hand early on.
The Dragons then worked their way into the match through the efforts of Josie Criddle, Vicky Edwards and Ellie Langman but suffered a setback when Daisy Moon had to go off with a knee injury.
Taking advantage of this blow to the team line-up, Wisbech were on the offensive time and time again but could not get past the fortified Eliana Russo in goal.
The defenders and midfield of Sue Oakley, Alessia Russo, Liz Nunn and Emma Cowell worked effectively to keep Wisbech at bay and to feed the ball back up the other end of the pitch.
Another injury at the end of the first half resulted in the Dragons having no substitute options left available.
They reorganised and were rewarded for their hard work with some short corners, but Wisbech's defensive line was relentless and would not let anything past them despite some close calls as the match finished goalless.
A hat-trick from captain Kirsty Martin helped the ladies third team to 4-3 away victory against Cambridge City sixths.
The Dragons had been in complete disarray in the opening exchanges as Cambridge scored twice in quick succession.
This forced a reshuffle and Bourne Deeping started to move the ball more efficiently through the efforts of Sophie Wheatley, Flo Dexter and Martin.
The roles had now been reversed for the first time in the opening period and Cambridge were back-pedalling and defending their D.
Bourne Deeping cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time as Kay Greenaway surged forward to set up Christi King whose attempt was turned home by Greenaway.
The goal gave the Dragons belief and they got back on level terms early in the second half through Martin's first goal of the game.
Dexter and Jess Bail-Bedford contined to shine for Bourne Deeping and strong passing from Wheatley and Daisy Hakim created the chance for Martin to give them a 3-2 lead.
Cambridge then launch an attacking onslaught but Jo Morgan-Walters, Nadine Curtis and Greenaway stayed strong despite a succession of penalty corners.
An equaliser was inevitable though and Cambridge then pushed for a fourth with some brilliant goalkeeping from Alex Parker saving the Dragons.
Parker also turned a penalty shot onto the crossbar which galvanised the Dragons who then regained the lead as some simple passing found Martin to complete hat-trick.
Cambridge rallied late on but the Dragons held out for a well-earned win.