15/02/06 – Hockey men’s 14 game run ends

Doug Macklam reports on Berkswell & Balsall hockey matches played on 11/02/2006:

Mens 1st XI
Kingswinford 4 v Berkswell & Balsall Common 1 (James Bonell)

High flying Berkswell crashed to a ‘Chelsea-esque’ 4-1 defeat, their first league defeat in 14 games. Berkswell found themselves on the back foot within the first 30 seconds as Kingswinford’s superb Christmas signing from National League outfit Stourport took the ball skilfully round most the team before slotting it past the shellshocked ‘keeper.

Berkswell immediately came back strongly and began playing the kind of hockey that had taken them to the top of the table. Slick passing and strong defence brought Berkswell the majority of possession and a string of chances.

James Bonell narrowly scraped the crossbar from a penalty corner that would have brought the sides level. A late Kingswinford penalty corner goal left the scores at 2-0 at the break.

Early in the 2nd half Berkswell succumbed to another wonder run from the Stourport export leading to a short corner for Kingswinford. The slickly worked routine brought the scoreline to 3-0.

Berkswell fought back into the game and continued to challenge the Kingswinford goal bringing just rewards when James Bonell dummied his flick slot the ball down the centre of the goal under the Kingswinford ‘keeper. Giving possession away and all out attack from Berkswell lead to an easy goal to bring Kingswinfords 4th in the last minutes.

Berkswell will hope to keep alive their promotion hopes despite slipping to 3rd, highlighting how tight it is at the top of Coaching Solutions West Midlands Division 2.

Mens 2nd XI
Berkswell & Balsall Common 0 – Stafford 1

Mens 3rd XI
Berkswell & Balsall Common 1 (Jack Smith) – Barford Tigers 4

Ladies 1st XI
Stratford 1 (Amanda Pearson) v Berkswell and Balsall Common 0

Berkswell played exceptionally well to keep the score to 1-0 against higher placed Stratford. Despite only having 9 players at half time the score was 0-0 with Stratford being unable to score past a hard working Berkswell defence. Keeper Nicki made an exceptional save from a Stratford flick just before half time. In the second half Stratford used their two player advantage to create breaks and opportunities. Berkswell countered well with small good balls from Kate Tyler and Liz Ness in midfield getting up into the Stratford D. However despite hard work by Ellie Davis Berkswell couldn’t get a goal. After conceding a short corner Amanda Pearson took the lead for Stratford. Excellent defence from Berkswell by Donna Caroll kept the score at this level, although they were disappointed not to get an equaliser.”