The 1st XI hockey took on Kearsney on Saturday. With both teams consisting of a lot of talent, the match was always set to be an exhilarating one. Both teams started at an electric pace but it was Kearsney who drew first blood early in the match with a blistering backhand shot from Captain Luke de Vlieg which left the Northwood players and faithful’s stunned. After the initial nerves settled, it was Northwood that began to build some ascendency towards the half way break with several penalty corners and a save on the line from the Kearsney defender after Cade Leaity rounded the Kearsney keeper, however the half way mark saw Kearsney maintain their 1-0 lead. The second half was where the game came alive. Northwood changed a few things tactically at half time and the Kearsney defence slowly began to falter. Eventually a well-worked routine from another penalty corner saw Slater Capell get onto the score-sheet with a deflection, this sparked some energy and belief and 5 minutes later Northwood took a 2-1 lead from Tyrone Stanley’s goalmouth scrambled finish. Northwood looked set for the win with merely 6 minutes of match time left after scoring their second, however Kearsney responded well and began a fight back and with some sustained pressure forced 2 more goals of their own in 2 minutes through Ben Proctor and Steven Conway. The see-saw was not over there, and the resilience of the Northwood team showed as for the last 4 minutes of the match they played with 5 strikers and only 2 defenders to push for an equaliser. An excellent turnover deep in the Kearsney half and a great counter from Northwood saw them rewarded with a foul in the D and a penalty corner on full time. The moment of truth lay on the shoulders of Captain Ross Venning-Pridham to square the game up, in front of a massive crowd who was dead-silent in anticipation, from Northwood spectators hoping for a goal to Kearsney supporters hoping for the win. The injection came and after a breakdown, a re-award unfolded and all had to watch in anticipation again. Out came the second injection, a good stop and an even better flick from Ross, under immense pressure he rose above the occasion and squared the match up 3-3!
An excellent game for all involved and all who witnessed it. The rest of the block against Kearsney was good, there were 13 matches played, 6 wins, 4 draws and only 3 losses across the board.
Match Report Courtesy of Mr Baker
Director of Hockey
Photo Images courtesy of Northwood Press Club