Burnt Ash 3s beat league leaders, Old Bordenians 3s 4-1
Burnt Ash 3s beat league leaders, Old Bordenians 3s 4-1 on a day that saw Burnt Ash make Borden Grammar School a fortress!!
After two weeks away Ash welcomed back their captain Des Hewagama following his mid-season break part way through the first half of the season for this top of the table clash against table topping Old Bordenians 3, who were sitting proudly at the top of the table, unbeaten for the season.
Arrival at Borden Grammer School was like a home match for Ash as , in a unique fixture arrangement, three men’s teams, 1s, 3s & 6s, were all playing against Bordenians on the same day one after the other, with the 3s being assigned the last slot at 4pm. The earlier two matches had seen the 1s win 4-2 and the 6s win 3-0, leaving the 3s to complete the hat-trick and clean sweep of victories away to Old Bordenians if they were able to win.
The match started with Bordenians on the front foot, but the early threat was dealt with by the resolute Ash defence. Despite this early pressure Ash started to put together their press and play the hockey which has seen them bounce back from the early season disappointments. Ash started to put more pressure on the Bordenians defence with Chris Laidlaw, James Strattan, Duncan Willis and Chris Knights all going close. Despite this pressure the half time score remained goalless.
The second half started with Bordenians once again starting on the front foot but the Ash defence of Alan Phillips in goal, Jon Steel, Mark Hawkins, Neil Hawkins, Michael Butler and Des Hewagama stood firm and absorbed this pressure. After the initial onslaught Ash began to impose thier hockey on Bordenians through the wide play of Ben Callan and the ever improving Reece Flint with Chris Kinghts and Tim Howard controlling the middle of the park. Ash were eventually rewarded when a good move was rewarded with a goal through Chris Laidlaw. This was quickly followed by a second through James Strattan. Ash continued to push forward and were rewarded with a third through Reece Flint. Still with 15 minutes to go Ash found themselves 3-0 up breaking the Bordenians resolve, but Ash were still determined to add to their tally and could have without some great saves by the Bordenians keeper and some wasteful finishing, however Ash did get their fourth through Chris Laidlaw, who much to Neil Hawkins dismay, shot from a narrow angle, powerfully slotting the Ball into the side netting on the far side of a he goal. At 4-0 up Ash relaxed and conceded a number of penalty corners late in the game which saw Bordenians score a consolation goal through a powerful direct hit.
With this win Ash completed the clean sweep at Bordenians and close the gap on first placed Bordenians. All in all a great day for The 3s who cannot rest on their laurels and must continue in the current to the end of the season, starting with Canterbury at home next weekend.
Finally a big thank you to Alan Slater for umpiring following a late Saturday morning call.