Match Reports 19-10-19

Men’s 1s
Bridgend welcomed Chippenham to Pencoed, and with the early exchanges in the game the honours were even with both teams pressing to get early advantage. With things in the balance Chippenham took the lead after a disappointing short corner decision against the home team. Bridgend were on the back foot again and from another scrappy short corner Chippenham doubled the lead. A break away goal put the away team 3 up by half time. Bridgend knew they had to come out fighting but unfortunately even before they got going in second half they were a another goal down. Bridgend tried but today just wasn’t their day and conceded a further 2 goals to end up on the wrong side of a 6-0 result. An away trip to Cirencester next Saturday awaits Bridgend were they hope to get the season back on track.

Ladies 1s
Rhondda Ladies: 12 Bridgend Ladies 1st: 1
With a much depleted forward line Bridgend were already at a disadvantage before stepping into play. Rhondda however attacked viciously from the off and took advantage of every ball. The story of the first half was Rhondda with the majority of possession and attacking play, having scored repeatedly, were dominant in all phases. The second half started in a similar manner with Rhondda hitting home their advantage, despite this Bridgend kept battling and put some incredible balls wide and down the line and managed to have the last laugh by satisfyingly putting the ball in the back of the Rhondda net. A tough day for the young team with Eric in goal earning man and dude of the match by saving double the goals that were scored ! And nerp to Jess who fell over before the game had even started ! Hopefully the team can bounce back from this and count it as character building and a developing process !!

Men’s 2s
Cardiff & Met C v Bridgend A @ UWIC

Nick Anthony’s Ravens faced off against Cardiff & Met C at UWIC. The Roster; Jamie Brooks (Jimbo), David & Gareth Collier, Phil Rees and Andrew Jones (AJ Jr) making up the defense. Rhyd Cole, Ian White lock, Captain Nick Anthony and Andy Schofield where the mid field. This left newcomer to the Ravens 2’s Tom Hopkins with Kris Williams and Rhodri Owen playing the upfront roles. The man between the posts once again was Adam Hawas.

With very little warm up time available before the match the team talk was quick and to the point “do not force the pass, absorb the pressure and keep strong in defense for the first half”. From the first whistle the play seemed slow, unorganised and the Ravens couldn’t get a foot hold. Possession was too easily lost and the Ravens were unable to put any effective attack together. Midway through the first half, after multiple initial saves by Hawas in goal and a scramble defense, there was some confusion over a missed foul by the Cardiff umpire in the Ravens D and Bridgend were caught unfocused resulting in Cardiff slotting the ball passed Hawas to make it 1-0.

The first half ended much as it began with poor passing and loss of possession giving plenty of ammunition for the half time team talk to refocus the team. Captain Nick Anthony outlined the issues, instructing the back four to relax on the ball and made it clear to the upfront men to capitalise on any opportunities. Unfortunately all that came the Ravens way was an onslaught of attack by Cardiff. For most of the second half Jamie Brooks, Phil Rees and David Collier fought tooth and nail to keep the attacking plays out of the Raven’s D. When Cardiff did eventually get attempts on Goal, Adam Hawas made sure he stood fast and professionally saw off any further attempts on goal, hoping to keep his men in the game.

The Ravens were convinced that all they needed was a goal to turn the tide and give the team the desperate lift it needed. But they could not rectify the basic errors of poor passing and loss of possession in key areas of the pitch. The Ravens did have a number of opportunities on goal from short corners but fate would have it that the young Cardiff goal keeper chose this day to be on form, stopping all attempts on goal, frustrating Rhyd Cole & Rhodri Owen who had a number of good shots stopped by the Cardiff Keeper. This earned him the respect of the Ravens Goalie Hawas who congratulated the young goalie on a great game.

The game ended 1-0 with Phil Rees (Phil Brooks) and David Collier getting joint Man Of the Match. Importantly, win lose or draw the Ravens 2’s leave the pitch as a team with heads held high and aim to fix the issues with a good training session before they entertain Cheltenham next week at Home. Keeper Adam Hawas takes up the Captaincy for next weeks game with the absence of Nick Anthony. In a league of evenly matched teams and tight margins, a win for the Ravens today would have seen them finish the week in 5th place in the De Cymru & The Marches 2 League and loss may drop the team to 9th. Let’s hope to see a solid performance next week.

Ladies 2s
Bridgend 0-0 Gwent 4ths

The autumn sunshine provided a perfect morning for hockey. From the first pushback both teams fought hard and were evenly matched in possession but neither managed to capitalise on any shots or short corner opportunities on goal and at half time play was nil nil.

After a positive team talk and constructive pointers from our goalie, Bridgend ran out onto the pitch with determination. Defence provided some slick play and long balls up through mid field to the forwards but the game still saw both teams running end to end without any reward for their relentless effort. Player of the match awarded to Angharad Kitchener for outstanding play in defense!

Men’s 3s
Gwent B v Bridgend B. Although early in the season this was a top of the table clash with the 3s top and unbeaten after 3 games. The game started with Gwent applying the pressure but some resolute defending by Denver, Jez and Tarran with the midfield chipping in saw us contain Gwent restricting them to some half chances. Young James Morgan was playing very well as was Luke Davis and James Tudbull stepping up from the 4s also contributed. We reached half time at 0-0. The half time team talk was about retaining possession better and being more composed with passing. Up the workrate and we can win this game was the general consensus. So second half we did exactly that. Jon Murphy stepped up into a more advanced position with Brett covering the CDM role to stop their quick counter attacking. Immediately this worked well with Jon crashing a screamer towards the top corner saved brilliantly by Gwent’s keeper. Short corners followed with Jon again going close. Mid way through the second half another short which Jon crashed towards goal, the ball popped up in the air and Jez Ingram was on hand to tuck it away. Instead of sitting back we continued to apply the pressure which saw some more chances to punish them go amiss. With 10 minutes to go Gwent again applied the pressure but the mighty 3s saw out the game to win what could be a crucial game in the race for promotion. Well done team. This was a great team effort from all 12 players.

Men’s 4ths
Consider the strawberry. That most delicious of fruits has an ingenious yet complex means of maintaining its presence in the garden.

New strawberry plants bloom into flower quickly and it is from the flower stalks that the fruits themselves emerge. But the strawberry plant knows that it only has a limited number of years in which to produce its best fruits – and so it ensures continuity of the species by sending out long rooting extensions, entirely for the purpose of creating new plants to fruit in the future.

It has taken a little time, but Bridgend has adopted the strawberry’s approach to club preservation – and its rooting extensions are creating some wonderful new plants. As the fruiting ability of older members begins to wain, the new young buds are being encouraged to grow rapidly.

The problem that Bridgend had against Carmarthen was that the older plants couldn’t produce the kind of rich, scented and juicy fruits of yesteryear – whereas Carmarthen resembled an entire bed of strawberries in full fruit. The young Bridgend plants (Lewis, Louis, Barnaby, Michael and Dan) contributed to the game magnificently and displayed great tenacity and skill. The good news is that their juiciest years are in front of them.

Carmarthen are a new team and we wish them well. They were pacy, defensively very powerful and finished off their goal scoring chances wonderfully.  By comparison your correspondent missed a hatful of chances and is surely soon destined for the compost bin. Bridgend’s young shavers worked incredibly hard and learnt during the first half that running into contact with the ball is not an effective strategy for senior hockey. The fact that they worked this out and improved massively in the second half is testament to their intelligence and willingness to learn.

Whilst Bridgend continue to send out the vigorous new rooting shoots the future will be assured, whatever scores arise in the process – and its great fun too!