Bridgend 1st XI 0-7 Swansea
A very tough day at the office for the Ravens who faced the newly amalgamated Swansea team. Bridgend were the architects of their own demise early in the game, with uncharacteristic defensive and strategic errors made by the visitors. Bridgend found themselves 4-0 within the first quarter of the game, and the following priority was to save face. Michael Hodges worked tirelessly creating Bridgend’s best attacking opportunities and ensuring he was involved in any defensive breakdown. Tom Pearce also put in maximum effort trading places with Jason Arnold to keep the Swansea defence on their toes. Some solid play orchestrated by David Knight saw Bridgend demonstrate why they belong in the league, however this was short lived, and Bridgend went into the half time break 6-0 down.
Adrian Hibbert rallied his team at half time, appealing to the tremendous spirit of the squad, taking his own words on board he lead by example making some impressive saves. Matthew Wooster made it a personal aim to frustrate the Swansea forwards, with Rob Evans and Jonathan Graham Woodward going over and above to prevent a rout. Paul Jones tested the opposition defence with Tom Pearce creating some useful chances for Bridgend however it was not to be.
A truly frustrating day for Bridgend who have learnt the cost of making mistakes at this level.
Bridgend ladies 2 – 4 Kington
Bridgend started strong and Jaz Gamble scored the first goal for the home team. Kington fought back and soon after they slipped the ball passed the keeper to equalise. Bridgend remained strong and after some great passes up the wing the ball was crossed into the D where Louise Jones was ready to dive onto it and scored. Before the half time whistle was blown Kington scored again from a well drilled short corner, ending the first half 2-2.
The second half started quickly and it wasn’t long before Kington had a chance at goal which resulted in a goal which unfortunately came off a bridgend stick. The game continued quite evenly with both teams having chances at goals but it was the away team that managed to capitalise and the end result was 4-2 to Kington. Everyone played well for Bridgend, especially Swawiza Gohobur who was our player of the match.
Bridgend Mens A 0 – 3 Whitchurch B
Bridgend produced a gritty performance in a game that could have gone either way. Played from the outset at a frenetic pace, both teams looked to play fast, attacking hockey.
Bridgend began to build momentum and looked like the first team to break the deadlock. However despite several chances, the Whitchurch goal keeper kept them in the game.
With half time beckoning, Whitchurch were awarded a late penalty corner which, frustratingly found the back of the Bridgend net.
Bridgend knew they were still in with a chance in the second half and came out fighting. John Rubery looked certain to score but was denied by desperate Whitchurch defending. Bridgend continued to press but Whitchurch were dangerous on the break and despite Bridgend‘s effort to equalise, it was Whitchurch who would score next. The game became more and more open as the game became stretched. Bridgend continued to battle to the end, but went down to a third goal which all but ended Bridgend hopes of victory.
Bridgend’s search for a first win continues next week with a difficult away fixture against Wotton-Under-Edge.
Bridgend ladies 2nds 0 – 6 Llanybydder ladies
From the 1st push back Llanybydder ladies showed their attacking intent and despite some terrific defending it wasn’t too long before they found the back of the net. Two more goals followed in the 1st half, one of which was a deflection from a long ball. Sadly Bridgend’s chances were limited as the opposition were simply too strong. In the second half it was more of the same as the defence was tested time and time again and even though there was some lovely running from the Bridgend midfield and forwards, they couldn’t quite create enough attacking chances to get quality shots on target. MOTM Pat Richards for her relentless skills in goal today.
Bridgend B 7 – 1 Swansea G
Bridgend turned up to this game ready to start the new season on the front foot. After a bit of back and forth between the two sides, Bridgend managed to piece together a string of intricate passes that gave Gavin Pound a tap in at the back post. This boosted Bridgend as they started to dominate the game. One short corner converted by captain Jon Murphy and a shot into the bottom corner by ross allen gave Bridgend a 3-0 lead at half time.
Swansea knew that they needed to score early in the second half to stand a chance of gaining a point from this fixture, and increased the pressure on Bridgend. A strong defence from Denver Beer, Taron Moss and Dave Collinson held firm and a quick transition to attack dashed Swansea’s hopes as goals from Rhydian Lewis and Rhodri Owen (3) rounded an excellent team performance. Bridgend were unfortunate to concede as they dominated a game full of hard tackles but move onto next week knowing that on this form they can beat anyone in the league.
Whitchurch Men’s G 2 – Bridgend Men’s 4th XI 4
In the well known story of David v Goliath, David the shepherd boy achieves fame by felling the giant Goliath with a stone from a sling shot. In his insightful book ‘Tipping Point’, Malcolm Gladwell presents research which suggests that Goliath suffered from agromegaly, a pituitary gland condition afflicting many ‘people of height’ which results in near blindness and, understandably, slow, ponderous movement. In other words, it wasn’t an astonishing feat at all – rather that the young David had simply stumbled on a situation where Goliath, huge, menacing and no-doubt intimidating was actually useless in battle unless David had made the mistake of taking him on man to man with a sword. David had simply picked a method over which Goliath had no chance of success.
Whitchurch is a huge and justifiably successful club who command respect across Wales (and rightly so). Their issue today was that the Bridgend 4th XI featured no less than 6 players under 16, none of whom had read of Whitchurch’s rich heritage and selected a slingshot and stone versus the Whitchurch sword.
From the first exchanges it was clear that this was to be a full-blooded encounter and one feared for the lithe, sapling nature of Bridgend’s youngsters. The fear proved to be unfounded. They simply refused to bend the knee to Whitchurch’s attacks and dumbfounded the giant with a series of precision attacks that left him stabbing at thin air.
Michael Wilks was a revelation down the right midfield, causing chaos in the Whitchurch defence with a number of strong runs and smashed crosses. Barnaby Millgate made any number of crunching tackles behind him whilst Steve Mansell was his usual industrious workhorse wherever he played. James Morgan in the heart of midfield was immensely hard working and Luke Davis got properly stuck in. Meanwhile young James Tudball delivered the final slingshot stone with utter confidence that put Whitchurch finally on their knees.
The sideshow was the elder statesmen of Wilks, Catton, Glynn, Allen, Jones and Thomas who all had moments of gilt edged class but all of whom would have happily engaged in a sword fight and probably suffered a predictable result had the youngsters not packed the appropriate weapon. It should be said that Mike John in goal made any number of super saves.
Bridgend has a rich future and this result was an immense testament to the youth policy which Bridgend has embraced.