Round-up and pictures by Jean Fitch
It proved a positive pre-season week for the Bedford Hockey Club squads who had the opportunity to perform in competitive, ‘friendly’ play.
In a mid-week encounter, the Men’s 1s, who are joining the ladies back in National League this season, welcomed Oxford University 1st XI to Chester Road for a game under floodlight. Although Oxford took the early lead, Bedford dug in, pulled level and then took the victory, by 2 goals to 1.
Building on their accomplishment, the team travelled to Beeston at the weekend for a prestigious pre-season tournament, returning home as champions.
The Ladies’ 1s also travelled to Beeston, showing a good deal of success in their tournament, taking 3 wins from 5 games, and netting a good number of goals.
Back at Chester Road, meanwhile, Saturday was a full day of action.
The Men’s Vets and Men’s 6s took on the challenge of playing each other, and there were plenty of goals at both ends, the 6s taking the win, 6-3.
It was a fiery ‘friendly’ between the Men’s 3s and St Ives 1s, with passion running high. The victory ultimately fell to the Bedford team, by 5 goals to 3.
The last of the day’s men’s fixtures saw the Men’s 4s take on local team, Vauxhall 1s. A fast paced match followed, unfortunately drawing to an early conclusion after a nasty player injury. Despite attempts on goal, Bedford failed to find the back of the net, whilst Vauxhall bagged a solitary goal to take the win.
On Chester Road’s two adjoining pitches, the Ladies’ 3s and 4s took to the field against St Neots 2s and Milton Keynes 3s respectively. Both sides dominated their oppositions with impressive displays of goal-scoring. The Ladies’ 4s held Milton Keynes to a 5-0 victory, whilst the 3s struck a phenomenal 10 goals, whilst keeping a clean sheet in defence.
In an away fixture, over in St Ives, the Ladies’ 6s also tasted victory with a 2-0 win.
The coming weekend will see the start of the East Area Hockey League season for all except the Club’s National League squads, who both have friendly fixtures.
With last year’s East league being abandoned before its conclusion, all teams remain within the same divisions they were in previously, with many hoping to push for promotion.
The Ladies’ 1s will be looking to impress the spectators with a 1 o’clock friendly fixture at the Chester Road ground on Saturday, against Harleston Magpies. The Men’s 1s, meanwhile, take on West Herts at 2pm on Sunday. Spectators welcome for all matches.
Anyone interested in joining the club can find contact details for the Men’s and Ladies’ Club Captains on the Club website: www.bedfordhockeyclub.com
Sunday also sees the restart of Junior Hockey with age-specific coaching.
09:30 - 11:00: U6/U8 up to School Year 3
09:30 - 11:00: U10 School Year 4/5
11:00 - 12:30: U12 School Year 6/7
11:00 - 12:30: U14 School Year 8/9
New players to all age groups with any level of experience are welcomed - please email [email protected] for more details or come down to a training session to have a look and introduce yourselves.