Bowdon IXs 3 - Northop Hall IVs 1
The day started with confidence low in the Bee's camp. Most of the swarm had been "promoted" to other teams and a tough match was expected from the team from darkest Wales. Fortunately, fate intervened in the form of a database problem and our esteemed leader had to leave to fix. The mood immediately lifted as everybody knows that the Bees always win when Olly doesn't play. (Unless it's against Warrington or Lymm, eh? - Defammation of character Ed)
After much debate, the Bees lined up in a 3-1-3-3 formation with the "experienced" frontline of Stafford, Gaunt and Arnold. The Bees started well passing the ball about but not quite managing to get the vital first goal. Northop Hall also forced a number of short corners (and an excellent save from Lazy), and things were evenly balanced....
The Bees first goal came from a hit from just outside the D. Braithwaite walloped it at Yokker's stick and the ball screamed into the top corner much to the surprise of everyone involved. The second came from another hit, this time to the Judge, who allowed Arnold to force the ball into the goal. 2-0 up and things were looking good!
Craig "Wild man" Simpson, was then taken out driving into the D. He wasn't happy with the free hit he was given and informed the umpire (Ferrett) of this. Telling the umpire to f*** off is never a good idea, and he was rewarded with a 5 minute rest. This was increased to 10 as he hurled his stick towards the sideline. The Bee's went into half time 2-0 up, but with 10 men.
Following a classic motivational speech from Braithwaite the Bee's lined up for the second half with Burn's playing top-centre half and two upfront. This brought some needed solidity to the midfield and allowed the Bee's to play out the remaining period of Wild Man's rest.
Once the Bee's were back to 11 men the game began to open up a bit more with both teams creating chances. Northop got a well taken goal back and the Bee's forced a number of short corners. The Bee's third goal game from a well taken short taken by Braithwaite who hit it off the wrong foot into the bottom corner. No keeper was ever going to save that one!
The Bee's then relaxed a little bit too much, but the defense of McLean, Tennant and Bretton managed to keep the Welsh hordes out.
The game finished
3-1, another win for the Bees and the third(?) sans Hawkins.... (fourth!
- Stats Ed)