Hockey: Berkswell falter attempting to snatch top spot

Berkswell's 1st XI - picked up from where they left off

Doug Macklam reports on the weekend’s matches:

Mens 1st XI: Nuneaton 1 – BBCHC 0

Berkswell entered this hotly anticipated top of the table clash at Nuneaton knowing a victory would put the fate of the East Midlands Division 2 title in their own hands, with anything less leaving them relying on Nuneaton slipping up somewhere else in the final run-in.

Nuneaton started the brightest, looking well organised whilst forcing the Berkswell defence of Rich Haines, Dom Herring, Doug Macklam and Nick Turner to absorb some early pressure. Despite the period of possession Nuneaton were unable to test keeper Steve Cross and Berkswell were soon able to settle into their game.

Berkswell’s Nick Herring and Martin Cross began to look dangerous, using their pace down the wings on the break and exerting enough pressure to force a penalty corner. The ensuing strike from captain Martin Stevens was well saved by the Nuneaton keeper but Berkswell continued to press.

Solid defending from the long reaching Nuneaton centre back stifled the Berkswell attacks and the teams went into half time with the match goalless and evenly poised.

Early in the second period Nuneaton snatched a lead as they robbed Berkswell of possession in the D and slipped the ball across to be tapped in for the opening goal. Berkswell responded well with Simon Tite making some promising dribbles from midfield well supported by Rob Whisson. Berkswell’s attacking trio of Oliver Stuart-Smith, Robby Wells and Andy Livingstone all toiled up front but found life difficult in the face of some very physical tackling from the home team. They did however win another penalty corner as Berkswell pressed for the equaliser. Again the strike from Stevens was well saved by the Nuneaton keeper but rebounded to Doug Macklam who was unlucky not to score as the keeper regained his feet and made a second save.

As the game drew to a close Berkswell continued to break forward but were unable to find a way through the resolute home defence and the umpires brought the game to a close with a narrow victory for the home side. Berkswell must now look to pick themselves up for the remaining games and ensure they clinch a well deserved promotion spot.

Mens 2nd XI –no game

Mens 3rd XI

Worksop 0 – BBCHC 6 (Dave Perry 3, Matthew Pattison 2, Jack Hodgson)

In the pouring down rain a team of ill and injured players were scraped together to play against Worksop almost 90 miles away from home! The first goal came very early in the first half scored by Hodgson playing up front for the first time which was shortly followed by Perry scoring the second. There were many opportunities which Berkswell failed to put away including a ball cleared off the goal line and several which could have been tapped in off the post. Shortly before the half time whistle Perry scored his second goal of the game taking Berkswell into the half time break 3-0 up. The second half of the game followed a similar sort of play with Worksop making things a little more difficult, however it was not enough to stop Perry scoring a third goal and Pattison scoring two more goals ending the game 6-0 to Berkswell.

Ladies XI –no game

Up-coming fixtures

Mens 1st XI: home v Long Buckby (12.30 push at Warwick Uni)

Mens 2nd XI: away v Kingswinford (14.30 push at Dell Stadium, Dudley)

Mens 3rd XI: home v Mansfield (15.30 push at Warwick Uni)

Ladies: no game