Bridlington Ladies 1sts 3
Leeds University 4ths 3
AFTER the recent bad weather, Bridlington were keen to get back to playing regular hockey and pushing for a top three finish.
Fielding a strong side, Bridlington started the more brightly of the two and were dominating the early play. Jo Wood was controlling the midfield and Leeds struggled to get a foothold in the game.
This showed as only fine goalkeeping by the Leeds keeper kept out the Bridlington forwards with Di Levitt and Sarah Turner both coming close to giving Bridlington an early lead.
The goal did soon come after Sarah Turner was on hand to pounce on a loose ball at the far post and as the game re-started, Leeds didn’t have a response as Bridlington didn’t sit back.
The Bridlington midfield were feeding the forwards with some lovely balls that tested the Leeds defence to their limits, relying on their goalkeeper to keep the score low for long periods of the half.
Eventually Leeds started to find their rhythm and started to test the Bridlington defence themselves.
With Booey Brown, back in the team after a lengthy injury, keeping control in defence, Leeds were struggling to find a way through.
As a result of both teams pushing themselves forwards, the game became very open and as a result chances were falling to both teams, but as no-one could take advantage, Bridlington took a 1-0 lead into half time.
The second half got underway, and it was Leeds who appeared to start the more brightly and were really pushing for the equaliser.
Taking advantage of the Leeds tactics of pushing players up the field, an inch perfect ball from midfield to Di Levitt, who had been left unmarked, resulted in her only having the keeper to beat.
Despite being denied on many previous attempts, she took the ball past the keeper to put Brid 2-0 up.
Bridlington did not want to sit back on their lead and taking nothing for granted, Katie Shepherd and Laura Hughes were working hard to track and chase loose balls, however Leeds started to throw players up in search of getting back into the game.
Eventually they were awarded a short corner which was converted through a fine strike, giving Dale Boat in goal no chance, and putting Leeds back into the game.
The confidence this gave them soon resulted in them drawing level as a nasty deflection from another short corner really put Leeds back in the game at 2-2.
Both teams really pushed to find the winner and again, only excellent goalkeeping kept the game level.
It was Leeds however who managed to get the break and went 3-2 up in the last quarter of the game. Despite this, Bridlington refused to give up, knowing they had it in them to get back into the game. This paid off as Levitt fired the ball home giving them a 3-3 draw.
This was an excellent game of hockey and an great advert for the league. Both teams kept playing good hockey right to the end, although Leeds can be grateful to their keeper for keeping the game at a scoreline that they were able to get back into.
Bridlington, also can take credit for refusing to get downhearted at giving away a 2-0 lead and fighting to the end to ensure the game finished level.
With several full weekend fixtures to come, Bridlington can really get their promotion push back on track and can go into next weeks games confident of their game.
Man of the match: Sarah Turner