16 Jan Match Reports – 12th January
Bridgend 3rd XI 1 v Swansea University 3rd X1 8
Bridgend anticipated a fast and furious game from a young and keen university side, but worked effectively as a team to keep the score creditably down to 2 – 0 at half time.
Working the ball from Derek Jones and John Thomas in defence, through the midfield of Jon Wilks, Mike John and John Woodward, quality possession was used to bring hard working Ross Allen in to play and release Jeremy Ingram, 14 year old Matthew Hibbett and Jack Steer upfront. The students were worried but Bridgend were unable to turn this possession in to real chances on goal.
The students began to stretch the defence, but youngsters James King and Gareth Collier made a number of brave and effective tackles thwarting their attacks, with Jon Wilks using his firm hitting skills to create attacks for Bridgend.
The second half began badly for Bridgend as their defence took time to settle and the students scored from the restart. Further pressure was exerted, but Derek, Steve Sloan and John Thomas stood firm and made effective clearances. However, the speed of the students was beginning to tell, as chances were created but skipper Cliff Harrison in goal, once again made several fine saves. However, one effective player for Swansea scored 5 goals, mainly from hard hitting reverse stick shots, giving Cliff no chance in goal.
As injuries took over, Bridgend had to change their format, but Ross and Ian Blatchford worked hard in the middle, with Mike John overlapping on the flanks. From one such move, the ball was firmly struck across the circle, finally reaching Jack Steer on the far post who got in a final crispshot to give Bridgend a well deserved goal.
The effort and commitment is to be commended, particularly from youngsters James, Matthew and Gareth, but well supported by the rest of the team, and if such performances are repeated in the future, Bridgend 3rd X1 can look forward to some positive results in the games ahead.