IT was a pretty inauspicious start to the new season for Alderley Edge Hockey Club’s mens firsts at the weekend – at least in terms of the result.

With new coach Stefan Ray-Hills on board, and a good pre-season, the team were looking forward to getting their league games underway.

However, they kicked off with a heavy defeat to Leeds’ second team in the Northern Premier Hockey League on Saturday.

They had started brightly with their pressing game creating a number of chances which unfortunately, they could not convert.

Leeds took advantage and took the lead with a rebound effort after a good initial save from Edge goalkeeper James Riley.

That was how it stayed until the break, but the hosts once again started brightly after the restart and this time got their goal.

Smart work by Ben Gregory and Jack Smith led to an easy tap-in for James Warburton to bring the scores level, but their quest to take the lead saw them lose shape.

Once again, the visitors capitalised to retake the lead and while Edge kept pushing, they were leaving gaps in defence for Leeds to exploit.

Two counter-attacking goals sealed a 4-1 defeat for Edge, who travel to Oxton on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the women’s firsts fared little better as they were beaten 5-2 on the road at Timperley in the Women’s Northern Conference.

Edge took the lead in this one – having forced a penalty corner, Lexi Arthur’s incredible reverse stick deflection found the net.

Despite continuing to play some impressive stuff, Edge slipped well behind as a well-taken short corner, an unfortunate flick and a brace of quick counter-attacks saw Timperley take a 4-1 lead.

Still, the visitors pressed on and narrowed the deficit when Sarah Hopkin drove the ball through midfield before offloading to Arthur.

The goalscorer then turned provider as she crossed for Sacha Hateley to narrow the deficit to two goals.

Edge pushed for a third goal, but chances came and went before Timperley rounded off the scoring with their fifth goal.

Alderley’s quest for a first victory of the season takes them to face Loughborough Students’ seconds on Saturday.