HOCKEY: WARWICK dropped down to third in the Midland League Division One after slipping to a second defeat of the season at home to Rugby & East Warwickshire.
Rugby took a 3-0 lead in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash and never looked back despite Warwick pulling back a late goal through Tim Williams-Ellis which proved to be little more than a consolation.
Warwick knew they would face a tough task to maintain their great start to the season against fellow high fliers Rugby who were relegated out of the Premier league last year.
The start was a tense, tight affair as both teams worked tirelessly to block out each other’s creativity and chances were at a premium.
The game turned on a dubious yellow card for Clarke which left Warwick having to play with ten men for the remaining ten minutes of the first half.
Rugby made the most of their one-man advantage and converted two penalty corners to go 2-0 in front at the break.
Warwick were still very much in the game and came out firing after the break, going close on several occasions only to be denied by some fine goalkeeping and sloppy finishing.
The visitors scored a third on the counter before Williams-Ellis got Warwick on the board with ten minutes remaining but that Warwick were unable to get the goals their determination and work rate deserved.
There was to be no joy also for Warwick’s second team after they lost out 6-3 against Edgbaston.
The visitors got off to the worst possible start by falling three goals down and a comprehensive half-time lambasting failed to have the desired effect as Warwick conceded a fourth soon after the re-start.
Warwick had produced a number of positive attacks without any joy but they eventually got their reward when Dellow’s deflected shot found the bottom corner of the net and Dellow bagged a second to ignite hope of a miraculous comeback with 20 minutes left on the clock.
It quickly became 6-2 as Edgbaston took control of the game once again as green cards for Balfour and Langley did not help Warwick’s cause.
Kane’s late drag flick gave a little more respectability to the scoreline but Warwick were beaten by the better team.
Warwick’s third team fielded a strong side at home to Bournville and will be disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip as they were made to settle for a 2-2 draw.
The Bournville keeper pulled off a couple of fine saves before a Nick Baker drag flick found the back of the net with his shot benefiting from a slight deflection on the way.
Warwick continued with their assault on the Bournville goal and their efforts were rewarded when Nick Baker slipped the ball home for a second goal of the game.
But the visitors fought back and made the most of defensive errors to earn a share of the points.
Steve Lycett scored what proved to be little more than a consolation after they fell to a 5-1 defeat against Northampton Saints in Daventry.
In the ladies section, Warwick’s first team travelled to Stone where they came up against a strong, physical side and fell to a 2-0 defeat.
Becky Weaver was the top performer for Warwick as she produced a number of fine saves to keep the scoreline respectable but she could do nothing to keep out two Stone goals in quick succession at the end of the first half.