Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club men blew their chance of going second in the Northern Premier League as they let a two-goal slip to Alderley Edge.
It was a game of two halves with the second one Whitley Bay will look to forget.
They dominated the first half and played some of their best hockey of the season.
Phil Ithurralde dispatched a drag-flick from a well worked penalty corner to put them ahead on five minutes.
He made it 2-0 just before the break as he deflected in a cross from Andrew Titmus.
The second half was an all together different affair and the game turned on its head.
Two minutes in, sloppy play in midfield gave the ball away and Alderley countered at pace. Weak tackles led to a two on one at the back and Alderley captain James Warburton took advantage to score.
Whitley Bay lost all composure and were at sixes and sevens and Alderley took advantage and soon were in the lead.
Warburton led his team level when he struck low into the goal from a penalty corner and then rounded off a ten-minute hat-trick as another counter attack gave him an easy tap in at the back post.
If things could not get any worse for Whitley Bay, they were a further two goals behind as both Sam Buckingham and Warburton again punished sloppy play.
Chris Traynor was able to offer a glimmer of hope as he scored from a penalty corner with 20 minutes remaining, but Whitley struggled to offer a real threat as time ran out.
Whitley Bay will have another tough test on their hands as they travel to league leaders Leeds next weekend.
Meanwhile Whitley Bay ladies’ firsts kept up the pressure at the top of the table with a convincing 2-0 win at home to Durham University seconds.
Knowing that winning all their remaining matches would see them crowned champions, Whitley Bay approached the game with determination.
Faye Garland skilfully converted the home side’s opening goal midway through the first half, after a period of sustained pressure.
The second goal came soon after from Emily Watkinson, who sent an excellent reverse hit sailing over the goalkeeper’s head.
Whitley Bay dominated possession throughout the second half, showing some great controlled passing play. The home side maintained their high tempo throughout, leading to numerous penalty corners and circle entries.
The scoreline would have been much greater if not for a strong performance from the talented Durham goalkeeper, who kept Bay from converting two penalty strokes, and a number of penalty corners throughout the game.
Whitley Bay now face a trip to Sheffield Hallam this weekend aiming to maintain the positive momentum.
Other results: Men’s 2nds 3 Sunderland Broom 1sts 2; Men’s 3rds 7 Hartlepool Caledonian 2; Ladies’ 2nds 0 Ben Rhydding 4; Ladies’ 3rds 4 Newcastle University 0.