HOCKEY PICTURES: Men’s 1st XI slideshow

Plus the weekend’s fixtures for all Rugby & East Warwickshire teams

PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Goalmouth action against West Bridgford at Hart Field on Saturday   PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Goalmouth action against West Bridgford at Hart Field on Saturday PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Rugby & East Warwickshire Men’s 1st XI 0

West Bridgford 2

Rugby knew that this had to be a cup final performance. One that would give them hope of remaining in the elite Midlands league. Unfortunately injuries depleted the forward line and Szymon Oszyjczyk could only manage small periods of time on the pitch.

Chances appeared for both sides, but the percentage of the match was played in central territory, Rugby holding firm in defence and having far better structure. Near the end of the first half Rugby hit the post from a penalty corner and it had that feeling of whether luck would be on our side.

Second half Rugby kept pushing and were playing some of the best hockey of the season.

A second penalty corner came and went, striking the post again, then a goal mouth scramble lead to a close range miss from Rugby in open play. The inevitable happened and Bridgford broke with pace leaving two players high, and played a simple pass across the D for a tap in. The game continued at 1-0 for 10 minutes but Rugby couldn’t break Bridgford down. After the second goal went in that sealed Rugby’s fate in what was a must win.

One more match away to top of the league Leek. They have to win to be promoted and Rugby must win by a margin to have a chance of staying up on goal difference. Miracles in sport do happen but this one is as far as miracles are thrown.

The club’s fixtures for Saturday (March 19):

M1 v Leek - away

M2 v Khalsa - 1400 - Hart Field

M3 v Leek - away

M4 v West Bridgford - 1145 - Bilton Grange

M5 v Belper - away

M6 v Cov & NW - 1530 - Hart Field

M7 v Sutton Coldfield - away

L1 v Warwick Uni - 1230 - Bilton High

L2 v Balsall & Berkswell - 1430 - Bilton High

L3 v Long Buckby - away

Badgers A v Atherstone - 1000 - Bilton High

Badgers B v Long Buckby - away