RHYL & District Hockey Club's men's team travelled to top of the league Bangor University on Saturday.

The seasiders were pitted against a team boasting three internationals in their ranks from Wales, Germany and South Africa respectively, who dispatched Denbigh to the tune of 11-0 three weeks ago. Bangor also had an average player age of 15 years less than Rhyl, with the luxury of a talented substitute bench.

With the odds stacked against them, the question would be, how would Rhyl cope against a team of such talent and youth? The side's answer was emphatic.

Rhyl dug in from the very first minute and played one of the best games of the season so far. In the opening exchanges, Rhyl were solid in defence and absorbed the Bangor pressure like a sponge.

A quick break out from Rhyl flashed the ball rapidly to the Bangor D and in form Dougie Lonsdale lashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Rhyl. The students were rocked.

Bangor's talented midfield drove at the Rhyl defence constantly, Rhyl held strong with a variety of short corners given arbitrarily, and it was one of these that Bangor were fortunate to score from and equalise.

Bangor assumed the tide would turn their way again after this, but they were rocked again as Adam Judge darted forward with some sensational link up play from Lonsdale to finish deftly into the corner and take the lead again.

The first half ended 2-1 to Rhyl and Bangor Uni went into half time shaken, with indignations that Rhyl weren’t letting them win.

The second half saw similar throws of Bangor pressure against a Rhyl barricade, and the oldest club in Wales were in seventh heaven as Lonsdale put away a rare short corner for Rhyl to make it 3-1 and reinforce this game’s potential as the biggest shock upset the league has seen in years.

Rhyl were unfortunate though as Bangor piled on the pressure, dissent for Rhyl was costing them green cards whereas the home side constant appealing went unpunished due to indifferent umpiring, and short corners were given at regular intervals.

Bangor scored one from open play and two more short corners, the last in the dying minutes to take the lead and confirm the points would be taken by the students. This was, however, a performance for Rhyl to be extremely proud of, to only concede one goal in open play, against such a skilful and mobile team took monumental effort.

Rhyl’s next match is at home to Oxton as they look to get back to winning ways, and if they are able to bottle and take with them the spirit and effort they showed against Bangor, then they can be confident of pushing themselves towards the top of the table this year.

Rhyl hockey club hold training for juniors aged six to 17 takes place from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Wednesdays at Rhyl Leisure centre. For further details email rhylhockeyclub@outlook.com