Bourne Deeping Hockey Club round-up
Libby Moore and Becky Warters both hit hat-tricks as Bourne Deeping Ladies romped to an 8-0 victory over Kettering on Saturday.
The Northamptonshire side might not have been at full strength for the match, but that should take nothing away from what was a thoroughly dominant performance from the Dragons after the disappointment of losing their place at the top of the table last week.
The Dragons got off to the perfect start, Warters dancing through to lay the ball off to Moore who tucked it away neatly to open the scoring on just three minutes.
One often brings two and so it proved as this time Florence Dexter did the hard yards, cutting the ball back for Warters to make it 2-0 on just seven minutes.
That set the tone for a steady wave of Bourne Deeping attacks and, unlike last week, this time everything seemed to be falling their way.
The goalkeeper made a save, it fell to a Dragons stick and, after a deflection in the D, a Bourne Deeping player was there to take advantage of the rebound.
The scoring continued in timely fashion and 12 minutes in Moore grabbed her second, reacting quickest to the rebound from a Warters hit.
Two minutes later another scramble in the D and Dexter managed to jab the ball home.
The midfield three of Oakley, Murray and Warters were running the engine room, putting in the graft to earn the right to play forwards, constantly supporting the ball carrier.
Warters drove forward at will and, with a healthy 4-0 cushion behind them, the back three of Geddes, Curtis and Mumby was transferring the ball well, looking to change the direction of attack and set Armitage and Maxey loose in the wide areas while Russo lurked with intent up front.
Warters grabbed her second of the game in the 18th minute before completing a remarkable first half hat-trick just before half-time.
When a team has such a strong half-time lead, it is easy for them to be complacent or start to become selfish and chasing that individual goal rather than simply creating more chances for the team, but that was never going to be an issue with this group of players.
Although Russo in goal was reduced to the role of spectator for long periods, she was alert despite the freezing conditions and always reliable when called upon, with several penalty corners.
The defence stayed solid - Curtis, in particular, was quick to snuff out any danger from Kettering’s high centre forward - providing the shape and platform for a midfield who continued to scrap when they had to and continued to make good decisions going forwards.
This half, however, their luck deserted them a little.
As with last week, now every rebound fell to an opposition stick in the D and was cleared with the goalkeepers controlling her rebounds with no more easy tap ins.
Although Kettering rarely were able to venture outside of their own half, they were defending far better and giving their keeper a lot more protection.
The Dragons probably played better hockey than they had in the first half, primarily because Kettering upped their own game and forced Bourne Deeping to do likewise.
Moore completed her hat-trick with a lovely finish, beating the keeper at her near post just 10 minutes into the second half.
It remained at seven until the hour mark when Kiera Maxey tapped home another close-range effort from a penalty corner routine.
A final score of 8-0 will do wonders for the Dragons’ goal difference, but more pleasing was the attitude and overall quality of the performance.
Bourne Deeping were unable to halt the unbeaten run of Division 2NW leaders Wisbech who recorded a 3-1 win over the Dragons on Saturday.
Wisbech have won every game of this season’s campaign so far and barring calamity will be back in Division One at the first time of asking so the odds on an upset were not high.
The Dragons began the game looking to contain the home side and make life difficult, but quickly grew into the game and any thoughts of this being a backs-to-the-wall defensive performance quickly evaporated as both teams exchanged blows in the early exchanges.
The manner of Wisbech’s two first half goals were disappointing, both coming as they did from momentary defensive lapses in concentration as their players on both occasions reacted quickest to loose balls in the D.
The lapses were made all the more frustrating as they blotted the copybook of an otherwise superb defensive display which was well disciplined, calm, and was beginning to frustrate Wisbech.
Chris Burden, Callum Howitt and James Watkins in central midfield were superb, tracking and harrying, slowing down Wisbech who were unable to make the quick driving counter attacks they usually rip through teams with.
Briault and Macbeth were solid at the back and, as well as putting a shift in defensively, the forwards of Brittain, Fowkes, and Moisey were quick to attack and keep the Wisbech back line honest.
Fowkes got the away side’s only goal late in the first half from a quick counter involving Macbeth and Moisey down the right and a 2-1 half-time deficit was keeping both sides interested.
If Wisbech were expecting the floodgates to open in the second half they were to be disappointed.
Howitt and Watkins were everywhere, Briault was solid and assured at the back and, if anyone got into trouble, it seemed Andy Kind was always on hand to bail them out, offering an easy pass out or putting in a covering tackle in the D.
Wisbech did manage a third goal to give themselves some breathing space, but to see the top side in the division, slowing the game down in the dying minutes in an effort to reassert control and protect their lead was very satisfying.
It is not something they have had to do too often this season and showed the respect both sides had for each other in this competitive but friendly encounter.
Wisbech will go on to gain a well deserved promotion no doubt but, just for a minute or two, perhaps the Dragons made them work a little harder than they would have liked for their three points.