OLTON & West Warwick Hockey Club’s ladies put in a valiant showing when they held league leaders Stourport at the weekend, although the men’s side suffered a disappointing defeat.
The ladies first XI travelled to their local rivals with the 5-2 reverse defeat at Grange Road still fresh in the memory, a job made harder considering Stourport’s 36 points standing and +37 goal difference.
Olton’s task was made all the more difficult by only having 13 players to choose from in their Investec Ladies Conference West clash, but they defied the odds to keep the hosts at bay.
It took an all-round defensive effort to deny Stourport which displayed real self-belief within the players, being the first team to steal points from the leaders.
The ladies side next host 8th placed ISCA, a must win game considering they only sit two points behind Olton in the table.
In the Men’s Conference West, Olton men’s team were beaten 4-2 by the University of Bristol.
Sitting in second, the hosts were confident going up against the seventh placed University side, but the result shows exactly why games are not played on paper.
A needless penalty corner was given away by Olton after 23 minutes from which Bristol opened the scoring, but Tom Mallett levelled up from open play minutes later.
Another penalty corner goal was conceded just two minutes into the second half despite playing well – although going 3-1 down in the 54th minute gave Olton a mountain to climb.
They did bring the scores back to 3-2 four minutes later through Steven Batten, and with the game wide open, a missed tackle on the hour led to a one-on-one with the keeper.
When the Olton stopper brought down the Bristol forward to gift them a penalty, it was dispatched to kill off any hope of a comeback.
The men’s side look to dust themselves down before they next head to Team Bath Buccaneers, who sit sixth in the table.