Cardiff medics 4-6 Bridgend
Bridgend travelled to Cardiff for a local derby against a young Cardiff medics uni side, this was the last chance of picking up points in the first half of the league season.
Bridgend started well and moved the ball with pace and purpose around the back 4 of Kris hollioake, Rhys Owen, jon Woodward and Rob Evans. The game was flowing well and Bridgend took a deserved lead through paul Jones with a thunderous shot from top d that nearly broke the medics net. The young student team pressed back hard but a great save by veteran keeper and skipper Adrian Hibbert kept Bridgend’s slender lead. The midfield of andrew Jones, Mike Hodges and Jon Rubery worked hard to make chances and to prevent attacks from the students. After failing to capitalise on a few great chances, Bridgend failed to clear their lines properly and a good reverse stick shot from the students centre forward levelled the game at 1-1.
Determined to retake the lead the forward line of Steve Murphy and james Griffiths worked together to create more chance that led to a short corner that was slotted in by Rhys Owen. Osian Jones provides an outlet wide right that lead to the next chance taken by Griffiths that put Bridgend up 3-1 at the half time interval.
The second half started with the students pressing and the pressure paid off as they created an overlap that they converted to make it 3-2. But again Bridgend pressed forward and another goal from Griffiths secured a 2 goal cushion. All the Bridgend players were playing with passion and enjoyment that inspired them on and a fantastic reverse stick shot from youngster Mike Hodges further increased Bridgend’s lead at 5-2. The students weren’t finished yet as they had attack after attack that saw Bridgend’s midfield and defence making some great tackles and interceptions, helped by some superb saves from their keeper.
The medics were awarded a penalty flick that they put away to make it 5-3. Bridgend didn’t stop they pushed hard again and the pressure paid off as they got another short corner that was on target again from Rhys Owen. With minutes to go a rebound from a save fell kindly to the medics forward while scored his and his teams 4th goal.
The final whistle came and a deserved win for the Ravens 1st team that saw them move 2 places up the table. They know that in the new year there will be some tough games to come but for now they will enjoy the Christmas break.
The early morning trip to Llandysul proved to be no problem for Bridgend as the ladies were quick out of the block showing the opposition that scoring was on the agenda. The first 10 minutes saw Bridgend working together to move the ball fluidly up the pitch and deliver the ball to the forwards of Beth, Sarah and Mel with Sarah putting Bridgend on the scoreboard first. Bridgend continued with the pressure but a quick turnaround meant that the defence of Catrin, Aimee, Cerys Richards and Keeleigh were on the back foot and Llandysul managed to get one back levelling the score.
After the first goal, Llandysul found their stride and continued with the pressure leaving the Bridgend defence to work tirelessly. By the end of the 1st half the score was 4-1.
Although Bridgend were a few points behind they refused to give up with the ball moving effectively between the midfield of Cerys David, Tania and Kate who worked well to create many scoring opportunities and a few narrow misses saw Bridgend unable to score anymore. Llandysul’s subs proved to give them an advantage as fresh legs helped them maintain their speed and momentum allowing them continue with the pressure. Despite some of Eric’s incredible efforts the score ended 7-1.
Some great play was shown from the young Bridgend team and especially debutants Ella and Beth, with Beth being awarded Dude of the Day for her efforts.
Nerp of the Day went to Catrin Rubery for not knowing how long we played for.
Bridgend 2nds v Pembroke 2nds 9-1
It was the final league games before the Christmas break and both Bridgend senior teams were affected by unavailability, injuries and illness.
Captain Jo Poupon asked 3 of the Development girls if they could step up and Izzy Edwards and Bray Thomas were able to answer and the call and joined the 2nds.
Pembroke arrived with 10 players and from the start Bridgend were dominating play. By half time Bridgend were 3 nil up with 2 goals coming from short corner strikes by Jo and Amy Bradbury and the third a great piece of passing which Amy capitalised on.
The younger members of the squad, Izzy, Bray and Lauren Hancock, were having a lot of play and combining well with the team.
Bridgend stepped up the pressure in the second half with a first class piece of play which started by Pauline Harrison in the Bridgend’s 25, play switched across the pitch to Jo then out to Michelle Hancock on the wing who passed the ball up to Izzy who went into the 25 and then the D, scoring what was the best team goal we have seen this season.
The left wing combination of Bray, Michelle, Sherry Shawcross and Izzy saw another three attacks, with Izzy’s solo run through beating the keeper again. Another short corner shot from Amy brought an excellent save from Pembroke’s keeper however Maia picked up the rebound for Bridgend’s 7th.
Bridgend didn’t have it all their own way and Bev Sainsbury who was playing keeper for Bridgend had to make a couple of terrific saves.
On the other wing Liz Pearce combined with Clare Jarvis, Charley Morgan, Bray and Lauren to put more pressure in the D which led to two more superb one on one finishes from Lauren.
With the score 9 nil, Pembroke didn’t give up and played strong to the end with a last minute flourish sneaking a consultation goal.
This win for Bridgend was a true team effort, with every player stepping and giving a stand out performance. Izzy was chosen as man of the match. #together
A must win game for the 3s to stay in the promotion hunt. The day started badly, our keeper not reading the script for the pushback time so we started with 11 outfield players. Despite this we were using and keeping the ball well and after 10 minutes our keeper was spotted arriving. Unfortunately just as Dan was about to come on a short corner was cleared by Penarth and they went up the other end and scored to make it 1-0. With our keeper now on we took control. Wave after wave of attacks through Lewis, James and Ian on the wings saw us pressing for the equaliser. Paul Davis was also playing very well in the centre and we opened up the scoring as Adam Knapp was put through to beat the keeper. Again we pressed and another 2 goals followed on in quick succession. Adam Knapp scoring again and Luke Davis getting in on the act. Half Time 3-1. Second half was more of the same and it was not long before the 4th came courtesy of the Captain who chalked up his first goal for the 3s. The day however belonged to Adam Knapp as he scored his 3rd and Bridgend’s 5th to see us to a 5-2 win. Its tight at at the top with the 3s just 2 points off 1st place with a difficult game against Gwent next week.
Bridgend Mens ‘C’ 1 – 10 Aberystwyth University
Molly Bloom’s soliloquy in James Joyce’s Ulysses is a literary challenge, comprising 4,391 words without the benefit of a full stop. It is her reflection on her husband and her life and simply goes on and on and on. Some of the prose is delightful; some of it downright awkward, but the reader finds it difficult to stop, caught up in the breathlessness of the whole thing. Her final word is instructive – ‘yes’.
Aberystwyth University have been simply destroying all other teams in the lowest league of Welsh Hockey, defeating Whitchurch the previous week by 17 goals to nil, so there was a certain amount of trepidation amongst the courageous souls from Bridgend who had volunteered to face the students. Your correspondent felt an anxiety that one feels when setting off for the first time to read Molly Bloom’s monologue – the certain knowledge that there isn’t going to be much respite for the foreseeable.
And so it proved. The students were slick, skilled, fast and predatory, opening up Bridgend on numerous occasions despite brilliant efforts by young Dan in goal, supported by his energetic acolytes Louis (who was effort personified throughout), Barnaby (now emerging as a properly grisly defender) and James (a titan in midfield). The awkward truth was that the other Bridgend players (your correspondent included) simply didn’t have the legs to match the students and so the monologue continued for fully 67 minutes, without pause, comma or full stop.
And that was when, as the incessant drizzle continued to chill and tire, the end of the soliloquy suddenly came into sight. A (very) long ball from a 16 yard hit evaded all Aberystwyth’s players and arrived at the stick of captain Cliff in the student ‘D’ who took 2 touches and despatched the ball with astonishing power and accuracy past a flailing student keeper for a quite brilliant goal. It must have been a long journey home to West Wales for the poor lad – one save to make in the entire game and he didn’t get anywhere near it!
The 10 goals that the students had scored were instantly forgotten as the Bridgend players saw out the final 2 minutes and uttered one single, collective, all-encompassing word – ‘yes’.