Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Men's first team in stalemate against Formby
It was honours evens as Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club travelled to second place Formby hoping to make up for the previous week's loss to league leaders Leeds HC.
Both teams battled hard throughout but neither could find the breakthrough they required to keep pace with Leeds, who moved seven points clear at the top with a win over Brooklands.
Both teams started brightly and Chris Traynor went close for WBTHC but could not convert a cross played across the Formby goal, arriving late at the back post he was only able to steer his shot wide.
WBTHC forward Phil Ithurralde had his day cut short with a suspected broken finger when tracking back and making an important tackle.
Formby closed the first half with a penalty corner, but WBTHC goalkeeper Jordon Thompson was equal to the challenge with a diving save to his right.
The game started to stretch out in the second half and man of the match Thompson had to make several reaction saves to keep out the Formby attack, while at the other end Hector Hall was only denied by the inside of the Formby post.
WBTHC thought they had taken the lead when Alex Lockey latched onto a charged down penalty corner flick with a smart reverse strike high into the goal. But the umpire blew his whistle just after Lockey’s shot and pulled the game back for a foul on Traynor, who was shoulder barged after he took the initial flick.
From the resultant penalty corner retake, they could only muster a slapped shot wide as Formby thanked their good fortune.
Formby finished the game with a penalty corner but Thompson moved smartly off his line to deflect the shot over the crossbar.
Whitley Bay host mid-table Bowden on Saturday in a game in which three points is a must.
Meanwhile Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Ladies 1sts lost 2-1 to Leeds.
Leeds scored first after a break on the left and their forward beat the Bay keeper in a one-on-one.
Whitley Bay came straight back and some good attacking play down the left gave Joss Plummer the opportunity to win a corner. Rowan Rochester was inch perfect with the ball in and Joss Plummer tipped it into the net for the equaliser.
Leeds tried to come back with a series of penalty corners but solid defence from Kerry Anne Hastings and the Bay keeper denied them.
After half-time, great work from Millie Powers and Alex Plummer saw Bay push forward, but towards the end of the match Leeds won a penalty corner and their shot was deflected into the net.
Despite protests from the Bay players that it had not been played inside the circle, the goal stood and it ended 2-1 to Leeds.
Other results: Men’s 2nds 1 Sunderland Broom 1; Men’s 3rds 3 Morpeth 3; Ladies’ 1sts 1 Leeds 2; Ladies’ 2nds 1 Alderley Edge 2; Ladies’ 3rds 4 Newcastle University 0; Ladies’ 4ths 1 Newcastle Medics 7. National Knockout Trophy: Over 35 Ladies 0 Ben Rhydding2; Over 50 Men 3 Timperley 8.