16 Feb Match Report – 3rd X1 Sat. 15th Feb.2014
Bridgend Hockey Club
Result: Whitchurch 2, Bridgend 3rd X1 3.
After recent setbacks of a loss and a draw, Bridgend returned to winning ways with a well fought victory in this top of the league table clash with Whitchurch.
Fielding their usual mix of youth and experience, Bridgend started strongly and dominated territory and possession with Rhydian Lewis and 13 year old Rhys Bradshaw controlling the midfield, backed up by Denver Beer, and so releasing Ian Blatchford and youngsters Rhys Rubery and Matthew Hibbert on each flank to start attacks putting the Whitchurch defence under pressure.
From such an attack involving the ever running Ian Blatcford and via veteran Jack Steer, the ball was quickly passed between players and in to the circle, whereupon the ball was well struck by Rhydian Lewis who gave Bridgend a well deserved early lead from open play.
Bridgend continued to dominate, with youngsters Owen Tuckwell and Steffan Irranca-Davies contributing well to the team effort, from which a penalty corner was converted by Denver Beer after good interpassing with Jack. Although Bridgend did not relax, Whitchurch came more in to the game, and soon got a goal back as they pressurised the Bridgend defence.
Whitchurch began the second half with a bang, and immediately took the game to Bridgend. Although their defence of Derek Jones, Nick Showell, Tony Price, Steve Sloan and youngster Gareth Collier made telling interceptions and clearances, Whitchurch drew level with a cracking shot giving keeper Craig Williams, who was making some excellent saves, no chance with this one.
Bridgend settled back to good passing, with youngster Rhys Bradshaw again mesmerising the Whitchurch defence with his heroic runs, distributing the ball to fellow youngsters Owen Tuckwell, Rhys Rubery, Matthew and Steffan. Playing against a strong and more experienced Whitchurch side, chances were rare, but Bridgend continued to attack, from which Denver Beer scored his second goal from a well taken penalty corner, as Tony Price slipped the ball to him.
The final ten minutes were hectic as Whitchurch strived for an equaliser, but Bridgend’s defence held out to give the side a well deserved victory – A reward for good endeavour and excellent team play from the whole squad.