There’s a huge game in store on Saturday as Ramsey Crookall Bacchanalians A test themselves against Rugby and East Warwickshire First team in the England Hockey Trophy.
Top of the Manx league, Jamie Brown’s defending champions have been testing themselves across the water and are only one win away from the quarter-finals of the prestigious tournament.
Having received a first-round bye they narrowly conquered a very strong Harrogate first team, progressing on penalty flicks after a wonderful performance.
They will need to use all the confidence they can garner from that game against a Rugby side sitting five points clear at the top of the Midlands first division, having won 12 of 14 games. All eyes will be on the action at the NSC in what is sure to be a pulsating affair.
Away from the England Hockey Trophy, there’s plenty to excite local hockey watchers in the Bridgewaters Cup and Plate fixtures.
Game of the day is undoubtedly Canaccord Genuity Vikings A putting their incredible streak of more than a century of undefeated games on the line against Lauren Brew’s strong Ramsey side.
The northerners look stronger and stronger in each game and have been tipped as the team to potentially deliver the first defeat in over seven years to the All-Blacks.
Should they finally crack the enigma that is Vikings women’s A, they will be joined in the semi-finals by the victors of Saturday’s other two quarter-finals.
Division One high flyers Ramsey Crookall Bacchas B will relish the challenge of knocking out Premier League opposition as they take on Partitionware Castletown A, while Emma Leeming’s Bacchas A will start as favourites against Caitlin Dodd’s steely Harlequins.
In the Bridgewaters Men’s Cup the tie of the first round was decided on Tuesday night, with Premier League leaders Bacchas A defeating Vikings A by five goals to three. Andy Whiting’s hat-trick helped them come back from being 3-2 down after 50 minutes.
Bacchas B will look to keep the momentum going against a Ramsey side buoyed by their first win of the season, while Valkyrs will look to put their league struggles behind and make fairly serene progress at the expense of Vikings B.
A close game could be in order between Elliot Henson’s Division One table-toppers Harlequins A and Castletown A. Quins will be looking at this game to test their mettle against Premier League opposition and reach the next round.
In the Bridgewaters Women’s Plate, Division One side Ramsey B should progress as expected against Castletown B, but the Reds won’t make it easy in the game of north vs south.
Donna Harrison’s Valkyrs B will look to put their disappointing league results behind them with a cup run and should claim the spoils against Harlequins B.
Finally, to the Bridgewater’s Men’s Plate and in the context of the competition there’s a huge game between Bacchas Colts and George Powell’s Saracens.
The latter would have been confident of progression but with the form that undefeated Colts have shown recently, it looks to be a tall order.
James Aitchison’s Ramsey B should follow up last week’s convincing victory with another against a Harlequins B side, despite the yellows’ guaranteed endeavour.