Report on Berkswell’s return from Iceland, from our man on the ground, Doug Macklam:
Mens 1st XI
Derby Asterdale 0 v BBCHC 7 (Oliver Stuart-Smith 4, Martin Cross 2, Andy Livingstone)
With captain Martin Stevens absent, it fell to vice captain Doug Macklam’s task to lead out Berkswell’s defence of top spot and their undefeated league record in East Midlands Division 2 after a three week break enforced by snow and frozen pitches! The team needed little rousing, given the side’s passionate focus for maintaining their rarefied position and went into the game un-phased by changes to the usual line up including Tom Ranner drafted in to support Simon Tite in central midfield and Martin Cross filling in at left half.
Berkswell had Asterdale pinned in their own 25m right from the start, successfully intercepting all their attempts to escape the danger area, such that it was only a matter of time before Oli Stuart-Smith opened his account, hammering the ball from the top of the D into the bottom corner. The second soon followed as Stuart-Smith slipped the ball to the left for Martin Cross to undercut the ball into the opposite top corner, whilst leaving defenders mesmerised, goalkeeper flailing and entire defence mesmerised and awestruck at the pin point accuracy and power of shot.
Berkswell really should have gone into the break with a greater lead and this might have been the case had Oliver Stuart-Smith and Simon Tite not gone for a sequence of rugby conversions with shots over the bar.
Tom Ranner sadly had to go off injured at half time and Robbie Wells (who had been a dynamo up front) dropped into the midfield leaving only one up front. Martin Cross was there to give Oliver Stuart-Smith a hand and took control of a hacky situation to slam the ball into the goal. The Stuart-Smith then went onto score 3 more goals before Andy Livingston turned up, scored and vanished again.
A clean sheet was ensured by some tight defending from Rich Haines, Dom Herring, Doug Macklam and Nick Turner.
Mens 2nd XI
BBCHC 5 v Leamington 0
Mens 3rd XI (postponed)
Ladies: BBCHC 1 v Coventry & City University 1
Scrappy first half but pulled it back together in the second half to salvage a draw.