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Stephen Booth gets Bingley Bees off to a flier
Bingley Bees overcame dreadful weather and a keeper in top form to win 2-0 at Huddersfield Dragons Fourths in the Yorkshire League.
The high-flying Bees had been favourites to beat their mid-table Division Five North opponents but it proved harder than expected.
Strong winds made ball control difficult, yet Bingley still managed to get off to a flier when Stephen Booth scored from a short corner in the opening minute.
The Dragons owed much to their keeper, who made a number of good saves including one from a close-range Jason Johnson shot which was deflected away.
All the pressure came from the Bees and it was a surprise that the score remained 1-0 at the interval.
The second half was played in worsening conditions, with the onset of heavy rain driven by the wind.
Huddersfield came more into the game with the wind behind them but the Bingley defence never looked in real danger of conceding.
A goalmouth scramble midway through the period then ended with Gavin Waddell forcing the ball home to seal the points.
The victory lifted the Bees up to second place, two points adrift of Driffield Seconds as York University Thirds dropped from top spot to third after their match was postponed.
Meanwhile, Bingley’s ladies climbed out of the Premier Division relegation zone above opponents University of Leeds Thirds after a 2-1 win.
The opening goal came from a penalty corner as Gail Day’s hit out was fired directly into the net by player of the match Mel Burgess.
The students had forced a draw with a last-minute goal in the reverse fixture before Christmas and the Bees were in no mood for a repeat as they doubled their lead. The ball was crossed into the D by Day to Emma Hinkles, whose shot was blocked by a defender only for Burgess to add her second goal with an impressive reverse-stick shot into the top corner.
A lapse of concentration by the hosts allowed Leeds to pull a goal back but they could not find another late equaliser.
The ladies second team’s Division Four match at Huddersfield was postponed due to a frozen pitch.