Rugby take advantage of yellow card to leapfrog hosts Warwick
Warwick Men's 1sts were knocked off the top of Midlands Division One after a 3-1 defeat at home to title rivals Rugby & East Warwickshire.
Rugby, who started the day level on points with Warwick, were relegated from the Premier Division last season and the opening exchanges were understandably tense and tight with chances at a premium.
The game turned on a dubious yellow card for Ben Clarke ten minutes from the end of the half.
Rugby exploited their additional space and numerical advantage to convert two penalty corners and go in at the break 2-0 up.
Warwick were still very much in the game and came out firing after the interval, going close on several occasions only to be denied by some fine goalkeeping and sloppy finishing.
Rugby added a third on the counter before man-of-the-match Tim Williams-Ellis got Warwick on the board with ten minutes remaining.
However, they were unable to add to their tally, slipping to third behind new leaders Sutton Coldfield as a consequence.
Warwick’s men’s 2nds were unable to recover from a poor first-half performance at Edgbaston 2nds, eventually going down 6-3.
The visitors were 3-0 down at the break and Edgbaston added a fourth after the restart before switching off and allowing Warwick to reply twice through Andrew Dellow.
Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly quashed by two quickfire Edgbaston goals, with the hosts benefiting from two green cards for Warwick.
However, Warwick regained their discipline and scored from a short corner with the final action of the game courtesy of a John Kane drag-flick.
Warwick 3rds let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Bournville 3rds.
A Nick Baker drag-flick found the back of the goal with the aid of a slight deflection to put Warwick ahead and he added a second after sustained pressure from the home side.
Bournville responded well, taking advantages of mistakes in defence to bring it back to 2-2 at the break.
The second half was a little more scrappy with Warwick’s best chance coming with five minutes to go when the ball was driven to the far post where Wes Payne seemed only to make contact to score. However, the ball bounced off the top edge of his stick and shot up on to the bar before bouncing out.
The 5ths lost 5-1 to top-of-the-table Northampton 4ths who were formed from the now defunct Daventry Hockey Club.
Steve Lycett scored Warwick’s consolation from a short corner.
Warwick Ladies’ 1sts conceded two goals in quick succession at the end of the first half to go down 2-0 at a physical Stone side in Midland League Division Two.
The women’s 3rds, meanwhile, remain without a point in Warwickshire Division Two after going down to a 5-0 defeat at home to Rugby & East Warwickshire 2nds.