Whitchurch Mens 1sts 4

Neston Mens 5ths 0

This week’s top-of-the-table clash was a classy affair which left Whitchurch six points clear after a scintillating performance.

With Storm Dennis having already flooded the Whitchurch pitch, the game was moved to Ellesmere College in an attempt to prevent the postponement of such an important game.

The conditions at the start were blustery but dry, and the game started at a high pace that would be maintained for the full 70 minutes.

From the start, it was a high quality game, with both sides playing great hockey.

Nick Cooper grabbed the first by dribbling the ball round the keeper and unleashing a shot from an acute angle.

By the start of the second-half, Storm Dennis was unleashing torrents of rain, but nothing was going to dampen Whitchurch’s enthusiasm for the game.

The teamwork in the second half was as good as the first, with everyone playing for each other – whether being unselfish in the Neston dee and opting to pass rather than take a shot, or at the back where Chris Ruscoe was again on form making critical last-second saves.

Paul Leigh was a rock at the back, again, making blocks and diving saves to record yet another clean sheet for the season.

The defence worked as a unit, and the midfield were up and down the pitch all game, attacking and defending in equal measure.

At the other end, the balance shifted as Whitchurch started to stretch away.

Dale Seymour drove the ball into the dee and took a shot which was blocked, but the rebound was drilled in.

Sam Conway was then on the receiving end of a powerful cross and calmly swept it in first time.

The final goal was a beauty, with Jack Barnes driving into the dee and holding the ball while the Neston keeper and a defender came out to get it, before slipping it under his arm across to Cooper who now had an empty goal and all the time in the world to slot it away with the last hit of the game.