Latest news and reports from Northern Hockey Club

NORTHERN men’s first XI stretched their unbeaten run to four games after a hard-fought 3-2 win at Wigan which took them to sixth in the table going in to the Christmas break.

It was never in doubt that this would be a tough game against a physical and well-drilled Wigan side whose game-plan was clear – get men behind the ball and try and hit Northern on the counter-attack.

After a sloppy opening, Northern settled down and found their rhythm and quality from recent weeks which has seen their upturn in form.

As ever, Jason Batty and Mark Watts worked tirelessly in the middle of the park and Craig Moran and Matty Morris who have both really settled in to first XI hockey this season, helped create a number of openings down both wings.

Wigan had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the scoreline blank at half-time after four superb saves.

Northern started the second-half superbly and really should have been ahead by a number of goals.

However, they had to wait until 15 minutes into the second-half for Alex March, who has been sensational in his debut season for the first XI, to coolly lift the ball over the goalkeeper and the defender on the line and put the ball in the top corner.

Northern continued to dominate the game but were unable to make a further breakthrough which clearly encouraged Wigan who were battling very hard.

As is often the case when you do not get a few goals’ advantage you are punished – and Northern were, not once but twice, conceding two goals in as many minutes.

With 10 minutes left Northern found themselves 2-1 down and an unexpected defeat looked like it could happen.

However the newfound belief and confidence in the side shone through and Northern kept their composure.

Two goals from the experienced Adam Batty, one from a well-worked penalty corner and another from a mis-hit tomahawk which wrong-footed the Wigan goalkeeper, saw Northern finish 3-2 winners.

THE men’s first XI host table topping Chester this Saturday.

THE last game before the Christmas break saw the ladies’ first XI play Lytham St Anne’s at Ormskirk School.

They were keen to put three more points on the board and end the year on a high.

And thanks to an excellent all-round team display, they did achieve these aims.

Jane Kent and Nic Lethbridge each fired in braces for the Merseysiders as they ran out victorious 4-2.

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