Round-up of all the action from Bourne Deeping Hockey Club
Bourne Deeping are hoping their first win of the Premier B campaign on Sunday will be the turning point of their season.
They convincing beat Shefford and Sandy 9-1 after heading south full of determination to bring to an end their five-match winless run.
Things could not have started better, Stuart Biggs drag flicking low to the keeper’s right from the game’s first short corner within two minutes of pushback.
The hosts pressed high and aggressively and it took Bourne Deeping a while to find their rhythm but, once they did, Shefford and Sandy could not live with them.
Biggs bagged the second of the game before Will Cook extended the lead to three goals within the first 20 minutes.
More precise, simple passing led to a fourth before half-time, Biggs completing the first of his two hat-tricks on the day.
There was no let-up after half-time with just one blip spoiling an otherwise excellent day for the Dragons.
A sloppy pass allowed Shefford and Sandy to break into the D and win a short corner from which they executed a neat routine to drag one goal back.
Any hopes of a comeback were soon quashed when Biggs grabbed his fourth of the game and then the floodgates opened as Shefford and Sandy’s discipline and composure faltered.
Cook scored two in quick succession to complete his own hat-trick, although he is perhaps more likely to remember the day for the injury he sustained when celebrating one of Biggs' goals.
Jubilant at his strike partner's form, Cook hoped to leap into his arms but instead jumped into the end of his stick and split his forehead open.
Cook’s headache was nothing, however, compared to the pain Bourne Deeping continued to inflict on their tiring hosts.
More incisive play led to two penalty strokes being awarded and Biggs duly dispatched both for his fifth and sixth goals of the day and the Dragons’ eighth and ninth.
A highly-satisfying day for Bourne Deeping whose next few upcoming fixtures are against other strugglers and full advantage must be taken.
They had gone into Sunday's showdown after suffering a fifth successive defeat following a 4-2 home reversal against Blueharts 24 hours earlier.
The pre-match atmosphere had been positive and the warm-up of a higher standard than previous weeks but the Dragons somehow failed to take this into the game and found themselves 3-0 down within 15 minutes.
Blueharts began with more intensity and far more precision and took full advantage of sloppy play from the home side when a short corner broke down and, from the second phase, a player was allowed to stroll into the D unchallenged and fire a shot low into the corner.
This was soon followed by a strike from Blueharts’ left-hand side and a sense of déjà vu began to grow as Bourne Deeping found themselves 2-0 down before starting to play properly themselves.
The final goal of this early flurry came from the penalty spot, James Sharpe penalised for a stick tackle while an opponent was in the act of shooting.
Despite some complaints, the decision stood and the penalty stroke was tucked into the bottom corner.
As is now customary, Bourne Deeping clawed their way back into the game.
First, Rafa Parker-Humby did well to launch a counter-attack down the right before the ball broke to Ben Brittain who, with his first touch of the game, flicked high and hard into the goal.
More valiant effort, while not matched by quality of passing, led to a second for the home team when James Tavernor benefited from a well-executed high press and, after a nice display of 3D skills, squared the ball for Simon Shorter to deflect in.
The half-time whistle blew soon after and the words of another rousing team talk were, sadly, not acted upon in the second half.
A tetchy, scrappy affair marred by arguments between opponents and disputing of umpiring decisions was settled by a fourth and final goal for Blueharts as another scrappy short corner led to a high shot being fortuitously turned in at the back post.
Bourne 2nds suffered an agonising defeat as they went down to a 3-2 home loss against St Neots on Saturday.
Another good passing display from the home side was marred by a defensive lapse which saw St Neots take the lead with a shot past an unsighted Jack Langley in an otherwise even first half.
With the game finely balanced it was St Neots who struck next early in the second half to make it 2-0 to the visitors after some hesitant defending.
Hugo Brill then opened his second team account with a brilliant turn and confident finish and suddenly the Dragons were back in the game at 2-1.
Caught pushing high up the pitch, Bourne Deeping then found themselves facing a two-goal deficit once more as St Neots counter-attacked at pace.
But Callum Howitt’s finish from an acute angle gave them hope going into the final 10 minutes of the game.
With the Dragons pushing hard for the equaliser and the seconds ticking down, Oscar Morely burst into the D only to find a defenders foot.
A penalty corner was awarded after the final whistle and, with a pre-arranged routine executed almost to perfection, a lunging Bourne Deeping stick was just a heartbeat away from the vital touch.
It was the final act in a heartbreaking finish as they came agonisingly close to snatching the equaliser their play deserved.
It's been a tough start to the season, but real progress is being shown by this young side who will look to continue their improving form at Spalding on Saturday.
Bourne Deeping 4ths were always facing a tough task as they travelled to Kettering 3rds with a bare 11 players which included two who were carrying injuries.
This became even more so when, due to a lightning turn of pace, Paul Curtis pulled a hamstring on 20 minutes leaving a long period to be combatted with nine-and-half men.
Kettering were already 3-0 up at that time and, while they deserved a lead, this was generous.
The long period that followed galvanised Bourne Deeping and ended with no further goals being conceded.
Kettering had the majority of possession as expected in the scenario but the away team did counter attack largely through play set up by Jon Oakley.
The Kettering side did win two penalty strokes in the second half, both of which were expertly saved by Ollie Wright on his debut for the team.
Bourne Deeping are currently in the relegation zone, but face a competitive fixture against Camb City 6ths this weekend.
Bourne Deeping 5ths overturned a two-goal deficit to run out 4-2 winners against Ely City 2nds.
They started the game with just 10 men but were soon up to their full compliment and settled well in the first 15 minutes.
Unfortunately Mark Hotchkin pulled up with ligament strain and, with the team back down to 10 men, Ely capitalised by scoring twice.
Mark Lovejoy made the team back up to 11 and strengthened the defensive line, allowing Bourne Deeping to attack and get a penalty corner just on the half-time whistle.
Bates’ short-corner drag flick was set to miss but was converted by Waters to halve the deficit at the break.
It was a tiring 35 minutes but through the second half they imposed themselves on the match with Davin Foston an increasing threat.
His contribution deserved two goals and an assist allowed Paul Blackler to convert at the far post and ensure the final five minutes was relaxed for the home side.
The match was played in a friendly and competitive spirit and the two young umpires were excellent in their roles.
Bourne Deeping Ladies landed their first victory of the season after a 4-0 success against St Ives 2nds.
They started strongly by putting pressure on the St Ives defence which saw Bourne Deeping have a few opportunities on goal and attacking short corners but they could not put the ball away.
After some great runs down the left from player-of-the-match Helena Darragh, she passed back to Susan Oakley who belted it into the left-hand corner of the goal.
Great pressure from Sophie Brittain who won the ball from the St Ives 16 and perfect passing to Ella Henson then to Jen Biggs made it 2-0.
St Ives had a few attacks but were not getting anywhere from a solid Bourne Deeping defence.
With great passing around the back and into the middle they created another goal for Biggs.
An awesome shot at the top of the D from Sophie Brittain then made it a well-deserved 4-0 win before they had a further effort disallowed from Kerry Fisher.
Bourne Deeping Ladies 3rds were sunk by a five-goal first half barrage in their first meeting with Wisbech 2nds.
The Dragons had started with the push back and instantly raced up the field, looking confident by passing and calling for the ball.
Within the first quarter the Dragons had been awarded their first short corner and all seemed well.
The shot was on target, but the goalkeeper managed the save and Wisbech turned the tables on Bourne Deeping and pushed back hard.
The next 25 minutes was majorly controlled by Wisbech with aggressive attacks into the Bourne Deeping D.
Although Jo Morgan-Walters and Isia Jansinska relentlessly worked hard to try to stop them, once the first goal was scored the girls' heads dropped.
Goalkeeper Alex Parker made numerous saves, but Wisbech were just too strong and by half-time the Dragons were 5-0 down.
With a five minute break, some positional changes and a re-energised team saw the Dragons come back out fighting and suddenly Wisbech weren't the driving force.
Amy Webster and Kat Kennedy worked hard in the midfield by getting through Wisbech's defences and passing to Keira Maxey and the Dragons were the aggressors.
Wisbech didn't back down and Elin James fought hard down the right wing to retrieve the ball and subdue further attacks.
Janet Eagle Smith and Alessia Russo both provided solid attack and defence on the left side of the field and the confidence started to be regained in the Dragons side.
The second half was a different game, no goals were scored after a solid performance by the Dragons.