By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey
On Wednesday the boys’ first XI hockey travelled to play Embley Park. The game got off to an absolute flyer with Bedales going 1-0 up with a fast counter-attacking move, replicating their work in training on Monday, finished off neatly by Felix Bicknell. However, almost within seconds Embley had equalised and the score was 1-1 within three minutes. Pleasingly, this set the tone for the remainder of the game, with both sides creating a number of chances. The Embley side contained a number of talented, representative players but this was well matched by the harder-working and slightly more structured Bedales team. The first half saw another three goals, all of a very high calibre; a drag-flick short corner and rasping finish from a tight angle for Embley, alongside a very well worked team goal for Bedales that was finished off by Nate Shuster after excellent work in the middle of the pitch from Jac Wheeler, Zach Stewart and the incredibly productive and fleet-footed Sam Gibbon.
As we moved in to the second half, it was hard to call which way the game would go. Zach maintained his influence in the middle of the pitch and Bedales were productive down the right channel with Elio Mazas and Sam Gibbon. But Embley remained a constant threat going forward and used the aerial ball to maintain territory. However, it is credit to goalkeeper Josh Baty and the defensive unit of Sol Arbib and Bruno Heggie that clear attacking threats were limited to three short corners. At the other end, Bedales created a number of good open play chances but failed to convert and ultimately paid the price when pressing for the equaliser were left exposed at the back and Embley neatly converted to win 4-2. Fantastic game. Credit to both sides for playing their part in a very competitive game.