Bridgend 3-1 Cirencester
Bridgend win first game in 12 years without regular first team defender Rhys Owen. However it was finally noted that the younger Owen brother is clearly the better hockey player in the family. It was Rhodri Owen who opened the scoring after great build up play by James Griffiths and Osian Jones. The first half stayed at 1-0 with the ravens missing many opportunities. The back 3 of John Woodward, Ross Shaw and Kris Holyoake kept Cirencester at bay and they were well backed up by skipper Adrian Hibbert in the Bridgend goal.
Cirencester started the second half on top putting lots of pressure on the Bridgend back 3 and forced goalkeeper Hibbert into a fine double save after a series of short corners. Cirencester then equalised which spurred Bridgend back into action.
Bridgend regained their lead when Mike Hodges picked up the ball on the 25 and went on a wonder run beating several defenders before slotting the ball into the Cirencester goal. Paul Jones and Jon Rubery continued to cause the Cirencester full backs issues down both wings and they were well marshalled by midfielder Rob Evans who ensured that Bridgend were organised for the whole game. Bridgend put the game to bed late on after the opposition keeper had been sent to the sin bin with James Griffiths lifting the final short corner into the roof of the goal. Bridgend travel to fellow relegation rivals Devizes next week full of confidence after today’s result.
Bridgend ladies 1sts traveled to Penarth on Saturday to face a older, more experienced team – however this did not deter their determination. As the match began, they found that Penarth were a well driven, organised team, making it difficult for Bridgend to make it out of their half causing them to concede within the first few minutes. After this quick goal, Bridgend struggled to find their feet, resulting in Penarth scoring a fast paced goal within another 10 minutes. Luckily, Bridgend’s keeper, along with a strong defensive line, managed to save several of Penarth’s strong hits from hitting the backboard, which prevented the score being greater than it was. A young, driven Bridgend squad maintained their drive in attempting to pull back the game. Making several good movements into Penarth half, but with no luck scoring. Bridgend went into the second half at 3-0 to Penarth. After a strong team talk by the captain Mel, Bridgend were set to give Penarth all they had. A promising start to the second half lead to Bridgend scoring a fast paced goal by Sarah from a well put short corner. Despite the second half being a far better and promising half, Bridgend were unable to score again, leaving the score at 3-1 when the final whistle had blown. Player of the match was given to Ellen (Eric)
Bridgend 2nd’s v Rhondda
In the first league game after the Christmas break, Bridgend ladies were able to take a field a full squad for both their first and second eleven games.
Pat Richards was in goal, with backs Liz Pearce, Bev Sainsbury, Pauline Harrison and Bray Thomas as the strong rear guard, Angharad Kitchener bottom diamond, Jo Poupon (capt), Sherry Shawcross, Michelle Hancock, Charly Morgan and Chessie Jarvis a fearsome midfield and a multitude of forward talent, with Clare Jarvis, Amy Paice, Izzy Edwards, Holly Brown and Maia Riley.
Bridgend started the game at a pace again and spent the first 20 minutes inside Rhondda’s 25 area, however clean shots on goal alluded the team. The midfield were passing the ball swiftly through to the forwards and Jo, Michelle, Chessie and Sherry combined to make some fine strong runs at pace down the wing. It felt like only a matter of time that the ball would end up in the net but the first half ended 0-0 with a very strong defence performance keeping Rhondda from having a single shot on goal in the first half.
The second half saw Rhondda step up their attack, but the Bridgend back’s were up to the pressure with Bev, Pauline, Liz, Bray and Pat keeping Rhondda out of the goal. Angharad’s made some fabulous push out’s taking Bridgend from defence straight back into attack. A couple of excellent individual pieces of play from Jo, Charly and Michelle in the centre kept the play in the Rhondda goal area, finally a clean strike from Amy saw the ball fly pass the keeper for the first goal to Bridgend, with Izzy, Holly and Claire on hand in case of a rebound.
The Bridgend attack had several more chances in the second half with Charly and Jo weaving the ball through to Clare, Holly and Izzy on more than one occasion. Finally Amy made a strong run through the centre and with another clean strike from the top of the D smashed the ball passed the keeper for Bridgend’s second. Jo, Michelle, Chessie and Sherry kept the play coming back to the forwards, and it was only a matter of time before after another attacking move saw both Michelle and Claire pounce on a loose ball and Michelle just pushing the ball past the keeper into the net again.
The game ended with Bridgend winning 3-0.
It was another strong performance by the Bridgend squad who are top of the league and again every squad member playing an important role in the well-deserved victory.
Dude of the say was Amy due to her pair of clean strikes and Maia was nerp for leaving the halftime oranges/haribo in the car.
Man of the match – Izzy Edwards
Swansea F 2 Bridgend B 3. Not the greatest performance seen at King George Playing fields but a wins a win. Swansea had a midfield 4 of older but decent guys and a centre forward who in past days must have played at a good level. It was Swansea through their midfield that started well and Bridgend just did not get going. On around 15 minutes Swansea took the lead getting round the back of our defence and slotting home. The expected reaction from Bridgend did not come and some poor ball retention and miss placed passing was un-doing us. However, after squandering a few short corners after we finally got going, up stepped Jon Wilks to rifle one right in the bottom corner. We reached half time at 1-1. Second half was again poor from Bridgend allowing their experienced midfielders too much time on the ball. Mid way through the second half Swansea were tiring a little and we started to make in-roads. A neat short corner routine ended with Brett Leeming winning a penalty flick after the Swansea player saved with his chest. Paul Davis stepped up 2-1 Bridgend. Unfortunately within 5 minutes Swansea had equalised with the skillful centre forward beating a number of players before setting up a poorly conceded goal by Bridgend. With 1 minute left indicated by the umpire Brett put Ross in via a well placed through ball which Ross crossed for Adam Knapp to score at the far post. A excellent finish to a game we perhaps did not deserve to win. The old adage “playing badly but still winning is a mark of a good team” was definitely on show here.