Bourne Deeping Hockey Club ensured they will be playing in division one again next season by winning their final game of the season 2-0 at home against Old Southendian.
The game was important for both sides, with a win for Old Southendian guaranteeing them a place in East Premier B next season and Bourne Deeping needing the win to guarantee survival in East Midland Men’s League Division One.
The previous encounter between the sides saw the Dragons come from a 3-0 deficit at half-time to battle back to 3-3.
Winning the toss and electing for the ball, the visiting side opted to change ends for the Dragons to play into the sun for the first half.
A shaky start from the home side saw a rare mistake early on from Richard Collins, who’s loose pass put an Old Southendian attacker in prime position to take an early lead, but his shot went wide to the relief of the home side.
Soon after the first penalty corner of the game was awarded to the visitors, but this was dealt with superbly by the home team.
As fast as the penalty corner was taken the ball was at the opposite end of the field for the Dragon’s to be awarded their first short of the game.
A slick injection from Nick Glover to Richard Collins, slipped to Ben Slack, who fired across the D and it was deflected back off Collins for Chris Clarkson to fire home and give the home side the early lead.
For the remainder of the half both teams pressed and attacked but the Dragons maintained their lead going into half time with the home keeper not required to make a save.
Restarting the second half the Dragons continued playing fine hockey with the visiting side still unable to penetrate. Any penalty corner the visiting side was awarded was dealt with by the home defensive team who were protecting their goal keeper extremely well.
At the other end, the home side were still creating chances and the Dragons thought they might have had their second when Shane Carlton zipped past the goal keeper and fired the ball on the reverse towards the goal, only for an Old Southendian defender to somehow manage to deflect the ball past the top corner.
Knowing that they were in the driving seat the home team continued to press and a breakthrough for their second goal of the afternoon came after a quickly taken free hit outside the D by Mark Cox allowed him to penetrate and find Chris Clarkson, whose shot was saved by the keeper but was then pounced on by Harry Oakley to double the home side’s advantage.
Only minutes remained in the game and the home side were confident that they had done enough to secure league safety. A late penalty corner by the visitors forced a fine save from James Page in the home goal to ensure his side had the victory they deserved.
MOTM - Phillip Arnold.