STILL not at full strength, Windermere Men nevertheless ground out an important 1-0 victory over Bolton 3rds at the Lakes School pitch on Saturday to stay in touch with the leaders in NW Div 6.

As expected, Bolton provided a tough challenge and the home side had to dig deep to keep them out.

Goalkeeper and skipper Andrew Darling was Windermere’s man of the match, making three outstanding reaction saves as Bolton pressed for the equaliser in the second half.

Until then, sound defending by Neil Moysey and Dominic Quill barely gave Bolton a sniff at goal and Windermere looked likely to build on the goal lead given them by Mark Kendrick.

Steve Heyns gave another skilful and busy display in midfield, this time supported by Mike Hodgson and Andy Hartnett, and between them they worked the ball well. Windermere’s goal came when Bolton failed to clear the danger at a penalty corner and the ball fell invitingly for club chairman Kendrick to drive home from the top of the D.

Joel Clark made his first-team debut and along with fellow youngsters Rob Griffiths, Will Dolman, Jordan Field and Stuart Morgan he did a sterling job in helping to keep Windermere in the top of the table mix.

* Windermere’s Sunday Assoc-iation side came from behind to draw 3-3 with Windermere St Anne’s. St Anne’s led two-nil at the interval but Ed Evans swept the ball into goal from the left to reduce the arrears and, although St Anne’s drew further ahead from a penalty corner, a lively Stuart Morgan grabbed two goals to level the score and almost rifled a third in a keenly-fought and entertaining encounter that kept stand-in keeper Mike Hodgson constantly on his toes.

Clinical edge Kendal 6, Wigan 2.

KENDAL and Wigan provided another exciting hockey game at the Cinder Ovens in NW Div 5 on Saturday.

The visitors arrived on the back of three consecutive victories, but Ewan Galloway opened the scoring for Kendal with a solo run into the D. Although forced wide by the keeper, he netted from a narrow angle.

In an end-to-end first half Wigan were gifted an equaliser when a forward latched on to a stray pass and raced in to Kendal's D to score.

The rest of the half was nip and tuck, with both keepers and defences looking solid until just before the interval when Steve Barclay showed his clinical finishing, twice in as many minutes to give Kendal a 3-1 advantage.

Wigan came out purposefully in the second half and Kendal's Josh Chacko was kept busy. Kendal finally managed to clear the ball effectively and gained a penalty corner and Airey's mighty strike took them three goals clear.

Even then Wigan regained some of the initiative and forced yet another penalty corner. This time the Wigan skipper himself pounced on the rebound from Chacko's pads and forced the ball home.

As the game drew to its close, Galloway beat his marker, drew the keeper and passed the ball to Barclay, who completed his hat-trick.

But it was Galloway who had the final word with another solo drive in to the D, finishing with a fierce shot that the keeper could only deflect in. A 6-2 win for Kendal suggests a one-sided game, but it could have been very different if Wigan had been able to convert even a quarter of the chances they created.

They were perhaps unfortunate to meet Chacko at the top of his form and the Kendal defence playing as well as they have done all season, while at the other end the home attack was clinical in its finishing.