A FIRST defeat of the season was suffered by Warwick in Midlands Division One at the hands of Northampton Saints.
The 4-3 away loss sends Warwick out of the promotion places after the Saints came from behind to cement their position at the top.
Warwick moved the ball around with confidence at the start of the game and found their rhythm immediately, capitalising on their dominance by going in front ten minutes in through Max Grossmith’s cool finish.
Northampton levelled against the run of play when an initial shot from a short corner was saved by Callum Savage, but fell kindly for another Saints player to find the net and restore parity going into the break.
The hosts were buoyed after remaining on level terms despite a one-sided first half and subsequently stepped up the pressure in the second.
High pressing by Northampton led to Pete Newton being robbed of possession and the hosts subsequently scored to take the lead, although it was a brief advantage after Albie Cohen unleashed a stunning backhanded half-volley into the corner of the net.
Any hopes that Northampton’s attacking prowess would be dampened after the equaliser were quashed when Saints went in front for a second time after Savage was beaten by a rising strike into the roof of the net from a short corner.
Another counter-attack provided a fourth goal of the game for the hosts and a two-goal cushion to protect, although the visitors remained upbeat and pulled a goal back after Martyn Stickley’s smart finish in a one-on-one with ten minutes to play.
Despite being on top for the remainder of the encounter, it was not to be as the umpire signalled for the Bears’ first defeat of the campaign.
Warwick men’s third XI were blown away 9-1 at Newtown in South West Premier – a result which keeps them rooted to the foot of the table.
The men’s 5ths were equally humbled in South East Division Three after going down 5-0 at Loughborough Town’s fifth string in a contest that Warwick never looked likely to win.
Of the four sides to represent Warwick last weekend, only the women’s third XI were able to register a win.
They saw off hosts Barford Tigers 3-0 – a result which ensures they remain top of Division Three in the Warwickshire Women’s Hockey League.
Barford were spirited to begin with and tested the visitors’ resolve with continuous pressure in a goalless opening period.
Warwick eventually put themselves on the right track for all three points and opened the scoring from a penalty corner – a lead which was added to by a breakaway goal and a tap-in from a goalmouth scramble.