Judane cruised to a 5-0 win against Crusaders to remain on top of the indoor hockey league, while the bottom-placed side recovered to beat Ness. Saracens moved into third place after gaining the points against RECKless and drawing with Ness.
Judane 5, Crusaders 0
Crusaders took to the field with rapturous applause from their adoring fans. Starting the game with a player down, they began on the back foot.
Great attacking play from Robert Smith and Chris James opened up the Crusaders defence twice in the early stages. Although a man down, Crusaders got into the game and coped well with the oncoming attacks. Smith was difficult to contain and widened the gap before half time with an excellent flick.
Kelly Thomson arrived just before half time, giving Crusaders a well-needed boost.
The second period began with Lowrie Simpson flexing his muscles and dancing through the Judane defence. Emma Inkster was key in defence for Judane, taking charge and clearing much of the attack. Ali Robb got the final goal for Judane to finish off their 5-0 win.
Darren Thomson was player of the match for Crusaders for thwarting many attempts on goal while Robert Smith took the honours for Judane for his overall domination of the game.
Saracens v RECKless
Reckless were unable to field a team so the points were given to Saracens.
Crusaders 4, Ness 2
The match began very evenly with some good attacking play from both teams. Crusaders broke the deadlock with a goal from Stacey Gardner but Ness continued to keep the pressure on and a good tactical change saw Andrea Tait moved from defence into a striking position where she fought back to get a cracking equaliser for Ness.
The athletic Crusaders continued to battle on, with Rona Simpson controlling most of the play. They were awarded for their efforts when Lowrie Simpson skinned Tait inside out and casually slotted the ball past Pearson to put them back in the lead.
Ness came fighting back and were awarded a few short corners – Gillian Copland taking advantage and slotting the goal into the far post.
Crusaders were determined to make the most of their form and kept the pressure on while Ness were tiring. They were rewarded with another sublime moment of genius from Simpson and a cracking individual effort from Brett Haining in the dying minutes which topped off a great game for the Crusaders.
Andrea Tait excelled for Ness, while Darren Thomson continued his tremendous form in goal for Crusaders.
Ness 4, Saracens 4
Saracens took to the game a player short and Ness made sure to use that to their advantage. Daniel Gair of Ness was on fine form and he managed to sneak the first goal past Saracens keeper Shona Moncrieff.
Saracens’ George Abernethy skilfully found himself in the Ness circle on numerous occasions and, linking well with Aimee Keith, they managed to equalise with a fine finish from Aimee leaving Ness keeper Neil Pearson stranded.
Ness worked tirelessly with Jillian Copland in the central position creating space and chances for Kerry Burgess and Andrea Tait to try and flat foot the fast-reacting Moncrieff. It was Andrea who stepped up to the mark to make sure the ball crossed the line, bringing Ness into half time with a 2-1 lead.
With anticipation building on the sidelines, one spectator couldn’t take the pressure and decided to accept the Saracens offer of stripping up and Jon Moncrieff took to the court, making an instant impression.
With the teams evenly numbered play continued at a high level with a number of attempts at goal but with Saracens’ Julia Halcrow and Maree Simpson and Ness’s Naomi Johnson and Anne-Marie Robinson the attacks were quickly thwarted.
George Abernethy slipped past the left side of Ness and manage to slot the ball home to bring the scores level.
With both teams fired up every ball was fiercely contested. Daniel Gair scored his second for Ness with Aimee Keith scoring for Saracens soon after, leaving the scores tied at 3-3 with minutes remaining.
Naomi Johnson managed to link on to the end of neat pass from Copland with Johnson turning on instinct and sneaking the ball past distracted Moncrieff to give Ness the lead. Saracens had the last word, however, with George Abernethy, determined to get his money’s worth for the night, securing the 4-4 draw.