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Bourne Deeping Hockey Club round-up

Player of the match Alessia Russo hit a hat-trick as Bourne Deeping Ladies returned with a 4-1 victory from their trip to table-topping St Ives.

Despite being without their talismanic captain Geddes, sidelined with injury until the Christmas break, the Dragons had a blistering start and demonstrated real energy and determination from the outset.

Great interplay between Annabel Armitage, Russo and Libby Moore quickly led to Moore opening the scoring with the Dragons’ first goal after just three minutes.

Alessia Russo.
Alessia Russo.

Effective communication between players meant that the ball was transferred swiftly across the pitch, and as space opened, Russo took advantage to double her side's lead on 14 minutes.

With stealthy midfielders Libby Moore, Florence Dexter, Norah Brill and Carol Murray, there was constant support in both attack and defence, and they were efficiently carrying the ball across the pitch.

Many opportunities to score a goal arose for the Dragons, with multiple short corners coming up, and just before the end of the first half, the ball was passed to Russo who scored another goal.

With a 3-0 lead at half time, the Dragons were in high spirits and were feeling confident going into the second half.

It was clear that St Ives had returned determined to fight back and got themselves back into the game with a penalty flick 10 minutes into the second half.

Despite conceding, the Dragons were motivated as ever to keep their now two-goal lead.

St Ives had their chances, but goalkeeper Eliana Russo made many fantastic saves throughout the game to keep the home side at bay.

Nearing the end of the match, the Dragons were rewarded with five short corners in a row, and many different routines were attempted.

Finally, on the fifth attempt, Russo secured her hat-trick with a cracking goal through the goalkeeper's legs.

Determined to put on a performance for their injured skipper, the Dragons kept their foot on the gas and finished strongly to win 4-1.

For the second week in a row, Bourne Deeping men's first team served up a corker of a match in yet another 4-3 thriller.

Having nervously clung on to a lead last week away to Ely, this time the 'profligate entertainers' came back from 3-2 down to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against a very good March outfit.

Alex Hutton hits the winning goal for Bourne Deeping.
Alex Hutton hits the winning goal for Bourne Deeping.

Joe Allen had a goal rightfully disallowed after just three minutes after failing to get his feet out of the way and, as Biggs and Hutton failed to find their shooting boots while youngsters Moisey and Fowkes slashed wide from less than a yard out, the nerves began to jangle.

Another poor penalty corner was somehow salvaged and, with Hutton unsighting the keeper, a Biggs bobbler made it across the line to huge sighs of relief from the home crowd.

March had been restricted to a handful of incursions into the D, but short corners at this level are critical and cue the equaliser just four minutes before half-time.

Only four players had touched the ball after the restart by the time the ball was in the net again, a brilliant attacking move sliced through the yellow shirts of March like butter and James Watkins volleyed home the final touch for 2-1 with the second half less than a minute old.

Alas once more the Dragons squandered their chances to extend their lead and a defensive mix up allowed March to equalise and then take the lead soon after.

However, Alex Hutton was to be the most alert player on the pitch at a penalty corner breakdown, squaring the ball for Angus Macbeth to level the scores.

A draw would have been a point won, having come back so late in the game, but Hutton wasn't yet finished.

Driving hard into the D, he made the finish look easy, flicking the ball past the keeper with just six minutes to go.

The experience of Andy Briault and Stuart Biggs in the back line then saw to the rest as they played out the remainder of the contest rather than clung on for a second 4-3 victory in two weeks.

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