Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club played out a 4-4 draw with the Exiles in the annual fixture
Bishop's Stortford played out a thrilling 4-4 draw in their annual fixture against the Exiles.
A strong Exiles squad arrived at Beldams Lane for the yearly showdown with a mixture of former members and players currently away at university or college. Their ranks included a full Welsh international as well as players with experience of playing in East Men's League, Premier A and B.
It was the guests who opened the scoring when the Clift brothers, Ali and Rob, combined nicely, before a great run down the wing resulted in the centre-forward escaping his marker to slot in their second goal.
However, Stortford got back into the contest just before half time when Freddy Cooke collected Olly Plumber's fine pass and beat two defenders before hammering the ball high into the net past goalkeeper Adam Frenzel.
They were level shortly after the break as the impressive Kier Ansell fed Alex Jefcoate and his shot was saved with captain Andy Round burying the rebound.
After an unfortunate slip at the back resulted in an Exiles midfielder restoring their lead, Stortford claimed another equaliser when Jefcoate pounced on a loose ball following a short corner.
The hosts could have collapsed when they fell behind to a tap-in, but they rallied and upped the tempo.
And good work by Alex Smink, Ansell, Adam Bassingthwaighte and Tom Frenzel resulted in Fred Cooke senior converting at the far post.
Both sides had half chances in an end-to-end last eight minutes, but the match ended all square.