There were strong performances last weekend by both 1st XIs but, sadly, no reward for their endeavours as both squads took on top of the table squads.
The men put up an incredible fight away to Harborne, who remain undefeated this season, ending with an impressive 7-5 score line. Bedford were forceful in their field attack, four of their goals coming from open play, the fifth from a Penalty Corner. The clincher, for Harborne, was their three Penalty Corners and a Penalty Stroke, all netted by the same player. Bedford have another tough match ahead of them as they host second-place Barford Tigers on Sunday, with a 2pm push-back at Chester Road. Barford are, also, unbeaten in the Conference Midlands.
Several players were called up for the Ladies’ 1s fixture, with a number of the team’s stalwart performers unavailable due to injury or illness. Bedford looked very strong on the attack and showed domination against Sutton Coldfield, being denied on the goal-line on more than one occasion. Sutton, meanwhile, were prevented from having many scoring opportunities, the two strikes they did manage to get through, however, being fired with force into the back of the goal. Despite the 2-0 defeat, Bedford remain second in Conference Midlands. They travel away to fourth place Beeston on Saturday.
It was a mixed bag of results across the rest of the senior teams.
The Men’s 2s battled hard, away to top of the table Old Loughtonians, but ended defeated, going 5-0 down. It was also a long trip home from Southend for the Ladies’ 2s, being disappointed to have lost 3-6 to a much lower placed team, the stepping up of players to the 1st team squad having influenced selection.
There was success for both 3rd elevens. The ladies secured their third win on the trot after defeating Broxbourne 2-0 and the men took a decisive 3-1 victory over Welwyn Garden City.
The Men’s 4s were less successful, going 4-1 down away to top of the table Hertford, Bedford still holding third place with two games in hand, however. The Ladies’ 4s, meanwhile, sit comfortably in second spot after their 2-all draw away to Bishop’s Stortford.
Another pounding victory by the Ladies’ 5s, taking Saffron Walden 6-0, must surely have them uncatchable in top spot, and heading for promotion. Their male counterparts, despite knowing they were facing a tough match against top of the table Letchworth, showed great spirit, and celebrated the glory of netting a goal against Letchworth, despite their 6-1 defeat.
The shoe was on the other foot for the Men’s 6s, the Bedford squad taking the 6-1 victory over their opponents Welwyn Garden City. This week, being a slip date, they will get the chance to play their previously postponed fixture against bottom table St Albans and hope to make it a third win in a row.
The Men’s Vets will be disappointed to have gone 5-3 down to St Albans, who sit much lower in the table.
Both the Men’s and Ladies’ 7s were also down on their luck this week, going 1-0 and 6-0 down to Hertford and Potters Bar, respectively.
Finishing the weekend on a high however were the Ladies’ Masters Over 35s, who are defending champions for the England Hockey Tier 1 Championship. Their 6-0 triumph, over Cambridge City, takes them on into the Quarter Finals, which will take place on the 6th March, when Bedford’s Ladies’ Masters Over 55s squad will also be in action, in the semi-finals of their play-offs.