WITH the 2nd XI enjoying a weekend off, Penarth Hockey Club pride was left in the hands of the senior side who faced a tricky trip to the De Cymru & The Marches 1 divisional leaders.

After a home defeat to Cardiff & Met ‘C’ the previous weekend, Penarth travelled to Gloucestershire to play a strong Lydney side that, when the teams met before Christmas, ran out 6-1 winners in the Vale.

Despite knowing that this was likely to be one of the hardest games remaining in the second half of their Davis Wood Hockey League campaign, Penarth started well, with James Davis, Tom Haran, Sam Docherty and Dave Stevens switching the ball around at the back to create space further upfield. With the good passing complemented by good running off the ball, the Bears eventually won a short corner, and their efforts were rewarded when Chris Baker’s drag flick, having been parried by the Lydney ‘keeper, fell to Phil Lane, who reacted well to knock the ball home.

Shocked at falling behind, Lydney hit back immediately with a superb reverse stick goal from the top of the ‘D,’ but Penarth refused to be overawed, and went straight back up the other end to restore their lead through a good strike from Sam Wooding.

Although the front line of Wooding, Lane, Arthur Jones and Math Birch worked tirelessly to find space and threaten the Lydney goal, it was the home side who scored next, pulling the teams level for a second time courtesy of a well-worked penalty corner routine just before half-time.

After the break, Lydney upped the pace, forcing the Penarth midfield of skipper Mark Thomas, Chris Baker, Richard Baker and Gareth Herman to work very hard to contain the host's slick passing game. Their endeavours proved in vain, however, as a freak goal gave Lydney the lead via a cruel deflection off a Penarth player.

Determined to get something from the game, the Vale side pushed forward for an equaliser, but left the back door open and Lydney took full advantage, sneaking in to make it 4-2.

The defeat leaves Penarth in a share of fourth position in their division as they prepare for a visit from third-placed Lansdown on Saturday. The 2nd XI, meanwhile, return to action with a trip to similarly-placed Abergavenny, who the stole a point in the early season fixture.

The club always welcomes new, old and returning players, umpires, supporters, friends and helpers, regardless of age and ability. Training takes place on the artificial turf at Barry Sports Centre every Wednesday, with juniors in action between 6-7pm and seniors between 7-8pm.

Further information can be obtained from club secretary Dave Stevens (