The 4’s put the record straight with a 3-0 win against the 5th team in a feisty encounter. It was toe-to-toe in sodden conditions at BRN as the 4’s sought to put last season’s disappointing loss against their league counterparts behind them.
It was the 5’s who looked more likely to go ahead in the opening stages. After winning a penalty corner and enjoying possession in the 4’s half of the pitch, their tails were up as they sensed another upset. However, the 4’s began to find their stride and were not prepared to roll over this time.
The breakthrough came arguably against the run of play. From a wide position in the right-hand side of the D, Guy Biggs took an opportunistic shot at goal. The ball flew off the end of his stick and thudded against the left-hand backboard as the captain wheeled away jubilantly. The 4’s were 1-0 ahead.
Further chances followed for the 4’s – they had the 5’s well and truly penned in – and would go 2-0 up before half time. An effort from Barnaby Barber from a penalty corner was saved but then mopped up by Biggs to double his and the 4’s goal tally.
The message at the interval was clear – there was to be no let up, fully anticipating a reaction from the 5’s in the second half. The 4’s dug in and defended their lead – some spirited tackles were exchanged in the process, but they needed this victory.
In search of a way back into the game, the 5’s began to tire and it became a very end-to-end affair. This left plenty of space for the 4’s to exploit, which they took full advantage of. Following some intricate build-up from Luke Piper and Tom Mills, George Guillain was on hand to poke the ball over the line to seal the win. How great to see George back after sustaining a broken finger.
Despite a handful of chances for the 5’s in the closing stages, it would be a clean sheet and three points for the 4’s. On paper this was the trickiest fixture for the 4’s to navigate this season, so there was much relief amongst the squad at the full-time whistle.