M2s Beat Deeping to Return to Summit
Wapping deliver a hockey lesson to championship contenders in the fortress of Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre
On a fresh February morning Wapping M2s welcomed current league leaders Bourne Deeping to glorious East London in what promised to be a decisive clash in the fight for the East Div 1 Championship.
The away side had inflicted one of Wapping’s only two league defeats of the season in the reverse fixture, so the boys in maroon were desperate to avenge that and in turn return to the league pinnacle.
For the first five minutes the game was cagey, both sides working each other out, aware of the magnitude of the fixture and what the result could mean for either.
This required the experienced players, Nick McLaren and Adam Haines amongst them, to take control and calm everything down.
They duly did this, bringing possession into the home side’s control and allowing their game plan to flow. Slick passes began to flow from Mark Bennett and down the wings through wide full backs Ollie Davies and skipper Charley Wright.
After 20 minutes Wapping had truly grown into the game and were looking their confident fluent selves. Midfielders James Fanger and Jason Black were particularly lively, adding great flourishes to their link up play, exuding class.
Soon, Wapping earnt some results from their patient play. A penalty corner, awarded after an aggressive and skillful run from forward Jack Beard, was converted brilliantly by Jonny Madill, further continuing his hot goal-scoring streak.
Although Wapping troubled the Bourne Deeping keeper a couple of times after the first goal, they couldn’t find a way past him before the interval.
However, after the break the home side well and truly found their scoring sticks, decisively putting their visitors to the sword.
The first blow came from defensive stalwart Dudley Spiers, again from a penalty corner. The sweeper’s strike from the top of the ‘D’ eluded the ‘keepers mildly outstretched leg to crush into the backboard with a ‘pop’.
With more breathing space and more confidence, the hosts turned on the style.
Their third came thanks to Beard, finishing of a top quality team passing move that any side would be proud of. The contributors this time included Richard Marshall, Matt Hyden, Alain Traill and Bobby Watson, before Beard rounded the keeper to convert from the turf.
Soon after there was a threat to Wapping’s dominance when Watson was shown a yellow card for a poor challenge inside the ’25. With it he conceded a penalty corner, which was well dealt with by ‘keeper James Bowler and centre back Oli Watts, setting Wapping on another attack in the process.
This one came to nothing, but it wasn’t long before a similar counter attack paid off. Madill won the ball on the half way line and drove for the goal. His speed allowed him to shrug the defender off and his composure saw him round the keeper with ease, before converting coolly for his second of the day and his sixth in four games. 4-0.
Watson’s suspension period was thereafter dealt with well by the hosts, who remained dominant until the final stages of the game, some strong drives from Black and Fanger pinning the visitors back further and forcing a penalty corner to be conceded.
Up stepped Beard to put the icing on the cake in this ‘six-pointer’. The striker cleverly slotted the ball down the middle and through the ‘keeper’s legs from the top of the ‘D’ to make it 5-0 and confirm their return to the top of the league with seven games to go.