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Ben Rhydding safe after mixed weekend
Updated 11:05am Thursday 27th February 2014 in Sport
Ben Rhydding 1 Preston 5
Ben Rhydding experienced mixed fortunes in their double-header weekend with a defeat on Saturday being followed by the win that guarantees their place in the Men's North Premier League for next season.
The home side knew they were in for a tough time against Preston as they had six players missing from their squad.
Despite their problems they competed well with their in-form opponents and had the better of the opening 20 minutes.
Robbie Studholme came within inches of a great sliding deflection and Danny Foster just missed a chance at the far post.
It was against the run of play that Preston scored, but Rhydding hit back to pose problems.
The second half began with end to end hockey and David Carter made many stunning saves.
Fine performances from Andy Clemerson, Kieran Borrett and Will Musgrave ensured an even number of circle entries across the two teams but Preston edged ahead with a good overload from a fast-break.
Despite superb defending, Preston squeezed in another to go 3-0 up. Rhydding continued to match Preston and got back in the game after Musgrave scorched a drag flick home.
Preston went on to score another goal against the run and then rounded off their tally from a controversial corner on the final whistle.
Ben Rhydding 3 York 2
A tired Ben Rhydding side, minus three more players, was made to work for victory by an already relegated York side.
Rhydding started badly and seemed slow and hapless. David Carter was called upon almost immediately to make some surprising saves.
Danny Foster had two exceptional days at half-back and somehow managed to produce another game of high quality amid testing and trying conditions.
Dave Exley was as solid as ever at the back and Andy Clemerson was highly influential throughout.
Rhydding pulled back into contention but were visibly struggling. Jet-lagged Ali Jordan looked half the player he normally is but still covered a huge amount of ground and this helped Rhydding string together some trademark passages of beautiful hockey.
Elliot Dowley showed some sublime skills in midfield and caused York real problems but the end product refused to materialise.
York caught the home side on the break and a cheeky touch on a through ball saw a lucky deflection put the visitors ahead.
Things went from bad to worse when full back, Connor Dowley left the field with a hamstring injury. However, Rhydding found a new rhythm and the gifted Will Musgrave seized the opportunity to level the scores with a lethal drag flick from a well-earned corner.
He took his team into the lead with a well-executed penalty stroke and Ben Rhydding began to look like they might pull further ahead.
With the oldest midfielder being just 17, Rhydding were short on experience but they made up for it with their skill, bravery and resilience.
Conscientious defending from Ross McMillan, Nick Woodhead and Matty Birch kept York out of the danger areas.
However, with both teams looking fatigued, marking became loose and York were able to exploit this to level the scores.
Ben Rhydding stepped up their play in the last part of the game and Andrew Lorimer scored from a well-worked corner routine.
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