It was a good weekend for Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club’s men’s first team as they picked up six points in a double header at the weekend.
A narrow 2-1 win at York and a comfortable 7-4 success at home against Ben Rhydding started things off nicely after the winter break.
After a comfortable start at York and taking a two-goal lead into half-time, Whitley Bay made it a nervy second half as they picked up three sin bins in a row.
Phil Ithurralde, back from a long spell out with a broken finger, got both goals. The first a low drag-flick from a penalty corner and his second a deft deflection of a crash ball delivered by man of the match Alex Flynn.
Down to ten men after the interval, Whitley struggled to keep their composure and play their passing game, and York pulled a goal back, but Whitley were able to hold out for the win.
On Sunday they were a far more composed side against Ben Rhydding and by half-time they led 3-1. Ithurralde bagged another drag-flick from the first penalty corner of the game and the league’s top scorer Chris Traynor got two from open play.
The second half was a hard battle and a total of seven more goals were scored.
Similar to York, Whitley’s temperament cost them again as they spent the first ten minutes down to ten men as goal scorer Ithurralde was yellow carded.
However every time Ben Rhydding could draw themselves a goal back Whitley Bay replied with immediate effect.
Traynor completed his hat-trick, Ithurralde came back on to make it a brace of drag-flicks, Alex Lockey got his fourth of the season and Hector Hall scored the pick of the bunch with a deflection high into the Rhydding goal.
On Saturday Whitley Bay face Alderley Edge at home as they have a chance to go back to second in the league.
Meanwhile the ladies’ first team beat Kirby Stephen 4-3.
Kirby Stephen scored within the first ten minutes on the counter attack.
Whitley replied and Sophia Ward scored on her reverse stick into the top left corner of the goal.
Just before half-time Emily Watkinson ran half the pitch to pass to Emma Davie who hit the ball into the back of the goal.
After half-time, Whitley again dominated possession and captain Joss Plummer ran down the baseline, passed to Jess Metcalf who slapped it into the goal.
Plummer on her reverse lifted towards Metcalf who volleyed it into the goal for their fourth.
Kirby Stephen pulled two back but Whitley Bay held on for a valuable win to progress to the next stage.
The men’s second team beat Tynedale firsts 4-1, and they got off to a flying start when Matt English picked up the ball from his left back position, skipped past several swinging Tynedale sticks, taking the ball all the way to the top of the D before selflessly teeing up Peter Burton who neatly deflected the ball in at the back post.
The early goal set the tone for the rest of the match, with the home side dominating possession and territory, reducing Tynedale to hopeful long-balls which the defence confidently dealt with.
However, they had to wait until the dying moments of the first half for their next breakthrough, when Matthew Cole finished off a polished short corner routine with a flick over the diving keeper, seeing the home side take a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half went much the same way as the first, Whitley Bay increased their lead to 3-0 when Richard Garner converted another slick short corner routine.
Tynedale continued to dig deep to defend against the onslaught, but the visitors could not prevent James Talbot from finding a fourth.
Tynedale took advantage of an uncharacteristic error in the home defence to score a consolation at the end, however, by this stage the contest was long over and Whitley Bay secured a comfortable 4-1 victory, continuing their good run, which takes them up to second place in the North East Premier League.
Other result: Ladies fourths 0 Newcastle Ladies firsts 5.