A day of mixed emotions – Bourne Deeping secure the league title with a comfortable victory whilst St. Neots stay fixed in the bottom three.
Despite St. Neots and Bourne Deeping being at opposite ends of the table, one would never have thought this from the play of the first half. Whilst Bourne Deeping had the majority of the possession and attacking chances, St. Neots appeared to absorb the pressure with relative ease. Rhys Edwards, buoyed by the presence of his new born baby girl in the crowd, rose to the occasion and made his presence known stealing the ball off the Deeping attackers on a regular basis. It was also largely due to Edwards that Deeping didn’t score once from a penalty corner; 4 times he blocked the direct strike, making the league leaders’ short corner routines look rather bland. Goalkeeper Rob Morris also played his part, pulling off a wonder ‘stick save’ diving to his right. However, Bourne Deeping’s relentless pressure was eventually rewarded with a goal and the score remained 1-0 going into the break.
Unfortunately for St. Neots, they couldn’t maintain their defensive work going into the second half. An early second goal for Deeping caused Saints’ heads to drop and soon it became a rout for the away side. St. Neots defending became a shambles as Deeping began to toy with them like a pack of wolves with its weakened prey. Soon the score line reflected a more true representation of the game’s play as Deeping lead 5-0.
However, all was not over for St. Neots. With a gathering home crowd, Saints looked to go out with a bang in their last home game of the season. The David Humphrey and Brett Nunn dream team were put back in action with the former supplying the latter an exquisite through ball, tearing the Bourne Deeping defence to shreds. Nunn took it under control and, despite playing through a recently sustained injury to his foot, coolly beat his marker and drew the foul inside the ‘D’. St. Neots had their first short corner of the match. And they made it count. Injector Nathan Read and stopper Lawrence Groom played their parts perfectly as the ball was served up on a silver platter for David Humphrey to strike. Humphrey made contact with colossal force, and no sooner than he had done so, the ball had thudded into the backboard with an almighty crack.
Although this was never going to be the start of an unfathomable comeback, it did provide St. Neots with an upbeat end to an otherwise sub-standard performance. It is the first time that St. Neots have scored from their first penalty corner in a match this season. It would be an understatement to suggest that Saints’ penalty corners this season have been poor and something to be addressed over the summer ready for next year.