31 Mar Cup Final Reports for Mens 1st and 2nd XI
Bridgend Hockey Club, Men’s Section, completed a very successful season with two sides reaching the FINAL of Welsh Cup Competitions which were held at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, last Saturday, 23rd March, 2013. The 1st X1 played in the Final for the Welsh Shield Competition against Swansea University, thereby completing a very successful season for them in which they ended up League Champions in their Saturday league programme. The 2nd X1, ending mid-table in their Saturday league programme, played Whitchurch in the final of the knockout Welsh 2nd X1 Cup Competition, having beaten strong sides at Wrexham and Cardiff Medicals on the way.
SHIELD FINAL RESULT.
Bridgend 2; Swansea University 5
Bridgend put on a magnificent effort against a young and energetic University side, who were well flattered by the end result. The game was fast and furious, with Bridgend’s defence of Jim Brooks, Rhys Owen and Neall Hollis combining well with midfield Steve Murphy, skipper Rhydian Cole, Andy Schofield, Rhys Pugh and Andrew Jones who all thwarted the University attacks with well timed tackles and good clearances.
With the Knight brothers, Richard and David, striving to put attacks together, territorial advantage was even between the sides, although the Bridgend defence became stretched at times, bringing Adam Hawas in Bridgend’s goal in to play, for him to bring off a number of excellent saves.
Swansea opened the scoring midway through the first half, with some good open play, but Bridgend equalised five minutes later, when another of their forceful attacks resulted in a number of shots at goal, for Nick Anthony to have the final shot beating the Swansea goalkeeper after he had made a number of excellent saves to the frustration of Bridgend.
With Swansea adding to their score either side of half-time, Bridgend never gave up, and their persistence was rewarded when David Knight scored with a crisp shot following one of the many penalty corners awarded to Bridgend. However, Swansea continued to press, with Bridgend ringing the changes, including bringing on goalkeeper Adrian Hibbert who brought off a number of excellent saves to frustrate the Swansea attacks. Youngsters Lewis Hearne and Gareth Coleman worked hard to press forward on the Swansea defence, but unfortunately no more goals resulted for Bridgend.
The squad can be very proud of their effort in this Cup Final, as representatives of both Club and town, but unfortunately came up against a strong and fit university side on the day, who were flattered by the end result.
2nd X1 CUP FINAL RESULT
Bridgend 0; Whitchurch 2
Bridgend put on a tremendous effort in this final against Whitchurch, who were expected to use their league status to dominate Bridgend. Playing in five leagues above Bridgend, Bridgend knew they would have their work cut out, but the occasion did not get to them, and with a great attitude from all, they put Whitchurch under great pressure and were unlucky not to force a draw by the end of the game.
Bridgend took the game to Whitchurch, with skipper Kris Williams, Paul Davies, Richard Knight and Gareth Coleman in midfield combining well with Denver Beer and Martin Bevan on the flanks, giving David Knight some opportunities upfront.
However, Whitchurch began to use the youth in their side to put pressure on the Bridgend defence, but Rhys Owen, Paul Jones and Alun Griffiths were able to make telling tackles and effective clearances.
The pressure told midway through the first half, when Whitchurch scored following a penalty corner, giving goalkeeper Adam Hawas no chance to save. Adam, however, throughout the game, brought off some scintalling saves to keep Bridgend in the game, earning him the comment from the President of the Welsh Hockey Union, Anne Ellis, as man of the match.
Bridgend used their substitutes well, with 14 year old Jacob Hodges working well on this auspicious occasion, together with committed performaces from Tom Hopkins, Jon Catton, Ross Allen and Rhydian Lewis. The even penalty corner count demonstrated that Bridgend were very much in the game, with the team working together and giving Whitchurch worrying moments. Bridgend were unfortunate to concede a scrappy goal midway through the second half, but still created their own chances which unfortunately they were unable to take.
The squad can be proud to have put on a brave and committed performance for their Club and town, only loosing by the narrowest of margins.