Just one or two games to go for Bedford hockey teams to secure league placings

By Jean Fitch

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:04 am
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:06 am
Action from the Men's 3s playing Royston, on their way to a 5-1 win

The end of the season is fast approaching, with some teams having their final fixture this weekend, whilst others have just a couple to go. Everything is still to play for, although several sides have already secured their standings in their divisions.

The Men’s 1s ensured themselves another season in National league after a 4-2 victory over Khalsa Leamington saw their opposition being the team relegated from the Conference Midlands. Bedford currently sit a creditable sixth with two fixtures to go, heading away to Harleston Magpies this weekend and ending the season’s run with a home contest at Bedford’s Chester Road ground on the 3rd of April, taking on Cambridge University.

Shaken by losing a key player to injury early in the match, the Ladies’ 1s, after a run of wins over the past few weeks, failed to break Loughborough Students and had to settle for a 4-2 loss. Bedford will pick themselves up and look to take the points from their two remaining matches, a home fixture against Cannock this Saturday and their final game of the season away to Oxford University on the 2nd of April. The Bedford loss, and a further win for the unreachable top of the table Sutton Coldfield, sees Sutton already crowned champions of the Conference Midlands. Bedford have put in a tremendous performance throughout the season and hold second spot heading into their penultimate fixture, eight points ahead of third place St Albans.

The ladies 3s celebrate their consolation goal in their defeat by Hertford

Both second elevens travelled away for their matches, the men to Waltham Forest and the ladies to Letchworth. The result in each was a 1-0 score line, although in the men’s match the glory went to their opponents, whilst the ladies took the victory. With a single fixture remaining for the men, a home fixture hosting St Albans, the men are already guaranteed to remain in Division 1 next season. The ladies will, also, be entering the new season safe in Division 1. They have two fixtures remaining, both home fixtures. This Saturday, they take on Thurrock, who sit second from bottom. The Bedford team are, currently in third but, with a game in hand, their final positioning won’t be known until their concluding match on the 9th of April, when they battle it out with St Albans who, presently sit fourth, six points behind Bedford.

The Men’s 3s added to their strong position in their division with a 5-1 win over Royston. On Saturday, they travel away to second in the table Harpenden. Bedford, who have a game in hand, end their season’s run taking on bottom of the table St Albans on the 2nd of April.

Having had a very successful run over the past few weeks, the Ladies’ 3s, despite netting an early goal, failed to maintain their flow against Hertford and ended the game 3-1 down. The result moves Hertford into second, three points ahead of Bedford, though Hertford get to play top of the table Stevenage this weekend, whilst Bedford will look for points away to Welwyn, who are sitting at the bottom end of the table.

Despite 3-0 losses for both 4th XIs at the weekend, the men against Cheshunt and the ladies Blueharts, both teams remain safe in their divisions as they head for their final matches this weekend.

Junior training...

The Men’s and Ladies’ 5s are at polar extremes in their divisions. The ladies’ squad have stormed their league. a 5-2 victory over St Albans at the weekend moved them 10 points clear at the top and heading for Division 4 next season. Their final match, hosting Letchworth this weekend, is a formality for Bedford, though they will certainly be determined to end with a win. As in so many of their games this season, the men fought hard in Saturday’s match against Cheshunt and were unlucky to be defeated 2-1. They look forward to a dominant 2022-23 season playing in Division 5.

Both the Men’s and Ladies’ 6s, and the Men’s Vets, got Walk Overs at the weekend, their oppositions being unable to get teams out. Whilst it was good to get the points, the pleasure is in the playing, so it made for a disappointing weekend for the teams. The Vets have one remaining fixture, this weekend, hosting second place Southgate, but are guaranteed to finish a commendable high end of the table. The Men’s 6s have now finished their matches, ending the season in a safe position. The ladies, meanwhile, still have two matches to play, against Stevenage and St Albans, their final fixture being on the 9th of April, though they are, also, well-placed on the table.

The Club’s two development squads, the Men’s and Ladies’ 7s, have been delighted to welcome new players to senior hockey this season, many junior players stepping up to the senior game as they turn 13 but, also, it has been fantastic to have a good number of adults returning to the sport, and several coming to play hockey for the first time. The teams have shown great commitment and spirit and will be hopeful of much success when they head into the next season, always looking to welcoming new players.