North Premier League
Wakefield 3 Bowdon 3
This weekend saw Wakefield HC Men’s 1st team entertain Bowdon a team three places below Wakefield in the Penultimate game of the North Premier league. The two teams had drawn their earlier encounter 1-1 and with a depleted squad were keen to go one better and collect all the points from the Manchester side. Wakefield scored first with a well worked goal where Dan Berry moving quickly down the wing fed Simon Ball, who directed the ball across the D where Greg Moorhouse was quickest to react and slot the ball passed the Bowdon Keeper. Bowden then reacted quickly scoring within 2 minutes of the restart from a deflected short corner.
Wakefield piled on the pressure where Bowdon were made to camp in their own D, but one moment lapse in concentration saw Bowdon counter and force a save out of the Wakefield keeper James Jones. Energetic movement and fast early passes in the midfield between Tom House and Man of the Match Will Gibson created countless opportunities and the best of lead to a well taken goal from Luke van Bentum, giving Wakefield a deserved 2-1 lead just before the break and making it 15 for the season for the in form Van Bentum. Once again Wakefield switched off following their goal and Bowdon equalized from the restart leaving it honours even 2-2 at the half time break.
After the interval Bowdon buoyed by the equalizing goal came out the stronger and scored within 5 minutes with an easy tap in at the back post, making it 3-2 to the visitors. Wakefield responded with some delightful attacking play through Moorhouse, Berry and Richmond and following a long period of intense pressure and a number of penalty corners Wakefield’s Barbadian international Justin Catlin was quickest to respond to a deflected Moorhouse penalty corner shot, coolly pushing the ball passed the stranded Bowdon Keeper. Catlin flies back to Barbados this week to take part in the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 Tournament in Trinidad signing off his Wakefield Career with a well taken goal.
The game then was end to end with both teams putting all their efforts in to scoring a winning goal. But with the Wakefield defence of Aidan Hopkinson, Dan Parker, Ben Byas and Tim Hilling-Smith staying strong made it hard for Bowdon to even find an opportunity. Eventually the game ended as a stalemate 3-3 where Wakefield kept their 6th place in the league.
Wakefield now look forward to next week where they will travel to Formby for their final game if the season, where a win will lift them above their opponents to a targeted top four birth.
Written by T House