Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club Men’s first team’s title push took a further dent last weekend as they lost 5-2 to league leaders Leeds HC.
It was a score line which possibly flattered the travelling side but nobody could take away how clinical they were on a day when they were restricted to few chances.
The first half was dominated by the home side from start to finish as they had more than the lion’s share of possession.
They broke into the Leeds ‘D’ on 21 occasions, but nearly every attack turned out to be toothless and resulted in no end product as they could only muster three blocked shots and won only one penalty corner.
On the other hand, Leeds were clinical with their possession. In total they only had control of the ball in the Whitley Bay half for just over two minutes, but they broke into the home side’s ‘D on fiveoccasions, scoring an incredible four times.
Leeds opened their account with a nice low flick from a penalty corner and then proceeded to follow that up with three open play goals.
Whitley Bay could only respond with one goal of their own, a deflected drag flick from Phil Ithurralde as they went into the break three behind.
The second half was a more timid affair as both teams limited each other to few chances, but again Whitley Bay dominated the possession with little threat.
Chris Traynor gave Whitely Bay a glimmer of hope when he got the score back to 4-2 with a penalty flick, but this was not enough to make up for the four conceded in the first half
As it was, Leeds completed the scoring as a drag flick from a penalty corner was adjudged to have crossed the line as it ricocheted down of the crossbar.
Now six points adrift of top spot, WBTHC will need to pick themselves up and dust themselves off as they travel to second place Formby in Liverpool on Saturday for a must win match.
Meanwhile the Ladies’ 1st team beat Sheffield 4-2 in the third meeting between the sides on North Tyneside.
Bay started well with high intensity and dominated possession. With some strong attacking play down the right they scored a well worked goal to take the lead.
Bay won a series of penalty corners as they took control of the first half but Sheffield’s defence held strong and Whitley Bay could not convert their chances.
Sheffield began the second half more positively and created a few chances which were comfortably saved by goalkeeper Jo Spotswood.
The game then became stretched with both teams turning possession over on a number of occasions.
Bay continued to press and following some excellent link-up play from sisters Alex and Joss Plummer, progressed their lead.
Sheffield found another level mid-way through the final half and exposed the free space on the pitch to take the score line closer.
Frustration was showing as two Sheffield players received green cards.
A short corner conversion from Lottie Gill and a slot in from captain Joss Plummer, her second of the match, secured the win for Bay.
On Saturday Bay travel to Yorkshire to face Leeds hoping to secure their sixth win in a row.
Other results: Ladies’ 1sts 4 Sheffield Hallum 2; Ladies’ 2nds 1 Leeds 7; Ladies’ 3rds 1 Newcastle University 2; Men’s 2nds 5 Newcastle University 2; Men’s 3rds 5 Redcar 1.