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Hockey: Northop Hall see off Wales Dragons over-40s

AS a warm-up for the second half of the season, Northop Hall played host to the Welsh Dragons over-40s side.

The Dragons were preparing for the Home Internationals and European Championships this summer and featured Hall players Stuart Brown, Simon Roscoe, Colin Mazzone and Barry Dunn.

It ended 7-5 to Hall, however, as the home side made an energetic and aggressive start to the game.

Capitalising on their youth and speed they took the game to Wales, who struggled to cope with the pace and power of the opposition.

Typically strong running from Andy Murray and Mark Worrall made regular inroads into the Welsh defence – culminating in a series of penalty corners and defensive mistakes which were clinically dispatched by Hall as they built a 4-0 lead after the first of three 30 minute periods.

Following the first break Wales made a number of tactical changes and pressed Hall much higher up the pitch, forcing the younger team to make a number of errors.

Roscoe marshalled the Wales defence while good interplay from Colwyn Bay’s Simon Wilson and Simon Sharp from Bristol-based Robinsons helped Wales draw to within a point of Hall at 5-4.

The third period was much tighter as both sides missed good chances.

Hall took advantage of tiring Welsh legs to score two breakaway goals which settled the game.

Hall 3rds played their rearranged game against Wrexham 3rds, ending up with a 0-0 draw for their troubles.

Hall started well but it was clear that Wrexham were equally determined.

Despite end-to-end play and plenty of short corners neither side could penetrate.

Hall’s James Dawson was voted man-of-the-match.

Hall 4ths also played a rearranged game, against Alderley Edge.

This one ended worse however as Hall lost 4-2.

Struggling for numbers brave Hall battles nonetheless as Niall Hurst grabbed a brace.