It was an early start for Keswick Men’s 1s on Saturday as they ventured on a 4 hour drive to Bangor. Unfortunately Keswick were without midfielder Mark Bowen, who is out for up to 6 weeks with a leg injury.
Playing on a particularly bouncy surface, Keswick initially found the opening 10 minutes difficult to get used to. Bangor, who played a very high press, were a very young, fit and physical university team who forced Keswick to absorb a lot of early attacks. But it didn’t take long for Keswick to react and get back playing their usual style of dominant hockey.
Keswick opened the deadlock in the 34th minute with an excellent strike from current top goal scorer Luke Heap. Clive Swanston intercepted the ball just outside the oppositions D and offloaded to Heap who turned and finished past the Bangor goalkeeper from 6 yards out.
Throughout the game Bangor played for a lot of short corners, but were unable to convert past the on form Keswick goalkeeper Gary Tupper.
In the second half Bangor looked a lot more jaded, resulting in more mistakes being made which allowed Keswick to dominate more, resulting in their counter attacks becoming much more frequent.
Despite Keswick dominating the second half Bangor still posed a threat, but thankfully the defensive pairing of Chris Mattear and Jamie O’Shea were on hand to soak up any pressure.
Keswick’s second goal came in the 50th minute. Charlie Jackson found Mark Proctor on the half-way line, who knocked the ball a through-ball ahead of Paul Sloan who ran down the right wing and crossed in for Proctor, who cleverly slipped the ball left for man of the match Ben Harrison to finish with a reverse stick shot and get his first goal for the 1st team.
Heading into the final stages of the game Keswick ran down the clock and relieved any pressure by playing the ball high in the oppositions half.
A fantastic team performance and effort from all the Keswick players gave them a 2-0 victory and 3 points to take back to Cumbria.
Keswick are still 2 points clear at the top of North West Hockey League Division 2.
Keswick’s Men’s 1s next game is on Saturday away to Crewe Vagrants 2s.