On the 13th November both the ladies 1s and mens 1s of Alderley Edge Hockey Club were hosted by Durham University, both teams took the long trip to the North-East in a confident mood after last weekends wins for both sides.
Ladies were first up with a high noon start , the first quarter was steady and the team settled into the game well. Despite ending the quarter with 3 penalty corners Alderley were unable to convert and the score remained 0-0.
The second quarter Alderley continued to play with better channelling of the opposition and some more sustained periods of attack up the pitch. However, an unfortunate short corner saw Alderley fall behind 1-0 and that was the score at half-time.
The team started the 3rd quarter well with again some lovely periods of play and composure in particular from Sophie Hetherington, Sarah Hopkin, Abi Sawyer and Issy Reynolds-Duffy at the back, despite Durham attempting to press high and win the ball. The 3rd quarter also saw some more attacking intent, despite a card for Tilly Hinds the match remained even with no more goals.
Going into the last quarter the opportunity was there to equalise and to then take the game. There was a surge in energy from Alderley and good domination in the final quarter with the ball only coming into the Alderley circle very rarely. The last few minutes showed how much grit and determination the team has and were unlucky not to score on multiple occasions , however the end of the game came with no more goals and a frustrating 1-0 defeat.
Player of the match was awarded to Sarah Hopkin for great ball pace and distribution down the centre channel and as always her incredible tackling.
Final home game before the Christmas break is at home on Saturday November 20th vs Doncaster with a 2pm start at the Edge.
The mens team then took to the pitch, the game was an even contest throughout with the university students playing a high line but not creating much from open play.
The opening goal came in the first quarter with Ben Whitehead's precise pass allowing Ben Gregory to express himself and he ran over half the length of the pitch before comfortably beating the keeper to make it 1-0.
Durham tried to press but all attacks through the centre were given the red light by man of the match Charlie Lowen, who was ably supported by his centre back partner George Bradbury who had his best game of the season so far.
Skipper Simon Parr was oblivious to the humps on the bobbly pitch and controlled the middle along with Kieren Hall who continues to show age is no barrier as he rolled back the years with another solid performance.
In quarter 2 Jack Smith stole possession and broke clear, Durham might as well have been chasing cars as he sped away and calmly finished for 2-0.
The second half followed a similar pattern and Paddy Wright was mixing it up with Durham old boy Alex Jones and Scott Brown timing his tackles sweetly, supported by Max Ridings who came on to play across right and left back positions.
Alderley held solid defensive shape and were dangerous on the counter attack through Olie Jones and Archie Benton and as 'keeper James Riley saved another penalty corner Durham waved the white flag and the 2-0 victory was sealed.
The men finish the 1st half of the season with a home game against league leaders Belper on Sunday 21st November with a 2.30pm start at the Edge and after winning 3 of their last 4 games are looking to cause an upset.
Match report by Phil Benton.