Columba’s break Wesley stranglehold

Schoolboy’s Hockey – Junior A, Group 2
St Columba’s scored their first ‘A’ level victory over Wesley’s juniors for many years on Tuesday afternoon as Pascal Dillenberger grabbed a bizarre, last-gasp winner to secure a famous 2-1 win.

It continued their fine start to the season for Columba’s, picking up their third win to move close to securing a league semi-final berth, backing up high-scoring wins over Newpark (6-5) and St Andrew’s B (7-3).

Against Wesley, it was a wide open tie with chances abounding for both sides. Despite the absence of Luke Madeley to a shoulder injury, Wes did create a couple of chances early on with the pressure they applied up top.

But similarly, they were forced to deal with a number of hairy moments with Freddie Morris looking the most threatening Columba’s forward, his skilful play leading to a lot of circle entries and some strong shots.

Older brother, Harry, was the creator in chief, stepping up from midfield and beating players to create chances for the forwards and, despite a couple of Wesley corners, Columba’s hit the front by half-time.

Freddie Morris was the creator, finding a great passing line for Wolfe Purcell to nip and score a top deflection. The second half saw Wesley turn up the pressure and they tried to speed up the game with quick free hits to make more chances with goalkeeper Alexander Bisgood forced into some good saves.

Columba’s could not keep hold of the ball and were forced to make some fantastic defensive tackles. Johnny Dalrymple was providing the main attacking threat while Ben McCrea produced a series of excellent tackles to set the moves in motion.

In response, Harry Morris was forced to throw a lot of overheads which resulted in some counters while also relieving the pressure. But Wesley got back on terms with ten minutes to go when the accumulation of attacks finally told, a neat ball across laid up a simple finish from a few feet out.

They looked keen to push on for a winner but Harry Morris produced the circle entry which stole the show, a strong run which led to a melee in the circle which eventually fell to Dillenberger. His reverse-stick effort was miscued but looped up awkwardly and spun in as the Wesley defence looked on in horror.

Elsewhere, St Andrew’s have bossed the opening phases of the opposite group, beating their own ‘C’ team 4-1 while also grabbing a 5-0 success over Wesley ‘B’ and they have done similarly well in the Senior Group One with wins over St Killians and Sutton Park.

** To see all the results and league standings from this season’s games, St Columba’s website carries all the details. Check it out here

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