Bedford finish the season on a high
Bedford finished their title winning season with two wins from two in their double header against Norwich City and Holcombe respectably.
Bottom placed Norwich City were the visitors to Chester Road on Saturday with the home side recording a 3-0 win. Norwich battled very hard and with only 10 players they did really well to keep the score down in fact the champions elect were certainly not at their free flowing best for much of the game. Despite a barrage of attacks and many short corners, they only had a Sam Turner goal to show from their first half efforts, her second goal in as many games. Bedford were guilty of some poor passing and decision making in the final third whilst Norwich were indebted to their goalkeeper who was kept very busy and kept repelling the Bedford forwards. The maroons eventually made their possession count with a late brace from Steph Holyoak, the first from a short corner deflection and the second after good work down the left from Harri Kinnear. After the game Alex Smallwood from the BHC sponsors, Bedford Consulting Rooms presented the team with their medals and the East Prem trophy.
On Sunday Bedford were without Jenna Maclaren and Claire Higginson so took a squad of 13 to face Holcombe down in Kent. Bedford started brightly and took the lead through a close-range half volley from Andrea Mason following a penalty corner. With nothing to lose, Holcombe responded well and took the game to Bedford, scoring two goals in quick succession to put the maroons on the back foot and chasing the game. The champions had plenty in the tank however and Emma Pinny was the instigator of a great response with her constant tackling and pressure in the centre of the midfield aligned with good pressing from Pippa Jones in her final game before heading to University. Bedford began to break with pace and skill and Kate Costin won a penalty stroke and got up to convert it herself to bring the scores level at half time.
Tom Hewitt’s side were impressive in the second half and moved the ball at will, using the fast, bouncy pitch to good effect. Becca Budd and Beth Noble were able to find their passes whilst Steph Holyoak tucked in from the injectors mark to give Bedford the lead before a Costin drag flick and a goal from captain Jackson put the result beyond any doubt. Darrington and Holland were combining brilliantly down the Bedford right and there could have been more goals for Bedford on another day. Still with the clock running down, Kinnear set up Holyoak for a tap in so the final score was 6-2. Bedford finished the season with the joint best defensive record and best attacking record in the league and have the challenge of National League hockey to look forward to next season.