Bedford Hockey Club's Over 55s are national champions

It was the culmination of a fantastic season for Bedford Hockey Club’s women this weekend, as the Women’s Masters Over 55s squad became national champions.

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 8:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 10:23 pm
Bedford Hockey Club's Women’s Masters Over 55s celebrating their cup final victory at the 2012 Olympic venue, Lee Valley
Bedford Hockey Club's Women’s Masters Over 55s celebrating their cup final victory at the 2012 Olympic venue, Lee Valley

They lifted the winners’ trophy, following a 3-0 victory against Ben Rydding in England Hockey’s Over 55s Tier 2 National finals, held at the Olympic Hockey venue in Lee Valley.

Ben Rydding started strongly, making an early press, and calling the Bedford defence into action.

The opening goal, however, fell to Bedford, five minutes in, when a ball struck solidly in the D by Emma Cook flew into the net.

Ben Rydding fought hard to pull themselves back, Bedford defending a string of penalty corners, though all were dealt with clinically by defender Sue Phillips, preventing the opposition from even getting a strike on goal. Bedford then began to dominate the play, although the scoreline remained 1-0 at the halfway point.

The second half of the game saw action move from end to end, Ben Rydding continuing to be a threat on the attack and forcing Bedford into defending further penalty corners.

It was Bedford though who scored, once more, with a ball struck high into the left hand corner of the net by captain, Joy Leeson, seven minutes into the second half.

As the game progressed, there were shots on goal by both teams, but it was Bedford, once again, who found the net, with the third goal coming on the 66th minute from Judith Tetlow, ensuring a gold-medal presentation for the Bedford team.

The Bedford Masters Over 35s also travelled to Lee Valley, as defending champions in the Tier 1 finals.

The Over 35s had the most fantastic run-up to their Tier 1 finals against Canterbury, with a 13-0 victory over Milton Keynes; 14-0 victory over Shefford & Sandy; 6-0 victory over Cambridge City; 2-2 against Harleston Magpies, with Bedford winning 4-2 on penalties, and a 4-1 victory over Alderley Edge.

Whilst Bedford looked dominant for much of their final, the teams remained 0-0 until a closing-phase surge by Canterbury, who snatched two goals in quick succession, leaving Bedford runners-up, with a highly creditable silver medal.

Not to be outdone by the Women’s Masters, after a number of fixtures across the season for the Club’s Under 14s and Under 16s Girls, both teams have received awards as group winners in their respective East Hockey Junior Club Leagues.