HOCKEY: Brigg take Christmas number one spot

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Driffield 2-3 Brigg

Brigg Hockey Club mens 1st team travelled to Driffield for a key game between the two teams leading the race for promotion in the Yorkshire Premier Division.

The atmosphere, even at this stage of the season, seemed tense, with both teams aware that a victory could be a vital at the end of the season.

Brigg were back to their full strength squad with the return of Joe Coburn, who added depth to the attacking options after an arm injury.

Brigg started the game at a high pace, working the ball successfully from left to right, through Tom North and penetrating down the left and right channels.

Driffield pressed the Brigg team back and Brigg forwards Sam Crookes and Andrew Reid found space hard to find. Driffield approached the game with a very direct attacking style with quick, clever forwards who moved the ball well.

On several occasions, opportunities were presented with guilt edge chances to score, but the attempts either failed to hit the target or were saved superbly by Colin Lattimore in the Brigg goal.

Brigg managed to hold their own and Andrew Morris struck half way through the first half. A scramble in the circle fell to Andrew Dixon who found a keen predator in Morris, who flicked the ball into the goal on his reverse side, to open Brigg’s account.

The belief to get a result was clear. Driffield maintained their threat throughout the half through quick counter attacking.

A seemingly inevitable equaliser came to level the game at the half way mark and focus the Brigg boys on the task in hand.

Consistent pressure was applied after the break by the home side and, but for more heroics from Lattimore and a goal line clearance from Adam Marks, Driffield would have got a grip on the game.

Brigg forced a short corner after clumsy tackling and a swift drag by Cadwallader was slapped into the circle by Dixon on to the stick of Coburn, who deflected the ball, so it looped over the grounded Driffield keeper. Brigg were now up 2-1.

The pressure told later in the half however when an uncharacteristic lapse in the Brigg defence allowed Driffield to claw their way back into the match at 2-2. A missed clearance landed at a Driffield striker on the penalty spot and he lifted the ball into the net.

As the light faded, Ben Treadgold found Andrew Dixon, who played a slide rule pass from the centre to the left striker Andrew Reid. Reid controlled the ball on his reverse side, engaging the advancing defender, he opened his body out to suggest a pass, but cleverly moved the ball to his left and powered a fast flick into the goal at the far post.

The goal was decisive and the Brigg team with two minutes to go, sensed victory. As the final whistle blew Brigg went into the Christmas break sitting on top of the league having taken a massive step forward with this win.