Ashbourne claimed local bragging rights in the Derbyshire Dales derby after coming through a charged and niggly encounter to beat Derwent 1sts 4-2.
Ashbourne quickly opened up a two-goal lead and looked to be in control until Derwent got themselves back into the game, with a goal from James Bolus. The goal completely changed the complexion of the game. Ashbourne then seemed to be more concerned with officiating the game, than playing hockey.
This led Ashbourne to be reduced to eight men after various fouls, comments and confrontations saw three players sin binned for five minutes. Despite this numerical advantage, Derwent couldn’t find the finishing touch and went further behind when parity was restored.
In the last four minutes, Derwent slotted home with a goal from Steve Langrick, but again they let Ashbourne off the hook when a mix-up between keeper Jamie Carlin and George Taylor left an open goal.
Derwent coach Heath Roberts commented: “In Chris Beastall, Ashbourne have the best player in the league. If you give him space to turn and run at you, then you’re in trouble. I have a lot of respect for Chris as he could play at a much higher level, but is loyal to his roots, which is unusual in this day and age.”
Derwent now take on Leicester University and need to get back to winning ways to ensure they are not dragged back into the relegation dog fight.