BEN Rhydding Hockey Club tasted national success on Sunday after defeating Isca 1-0 in the final of the men’s Masters Championship.

The over-50s side, who also won the competition in 2014 and 2016, had Rob Ward to thank after his goal secured victory against their Exeter-based opponents at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London.

A third title in five years – and a fourth final in that time – for Ben Rhydding was won in the second period after a scrappy start to the game.

Both teams struggled with the heat and the newly-laid pitch on a sweltering day.

Ben Rhydding were uncharacteristically making mistakes that overturned possession, but fortunately the defence held firm.

A series of vital last-moment tackles from Andy Locke and sprightly goalkeeping from Paddy Hagan kept Isca out, while captain Neill Moore kept England’s Andy Bachelor contained. Neil Horsman and Hugh Lambert then provided vital control and release points from defence.

Ben Rhydding manager Richard Terry employed his strong bench to keep the side fresh, and in the second half Terry’s side began to take a grip on the game.

Ben Rhydding had firepower up front, with the likes of Ward, Billy Marwaha and Ian Cussons all threatening to break the deadlock.

The winning goal came after a series of slick passes allowed Ward to apply a finish that left the goalkeeper stranded.

The last 15 minutes were nervous for both teams, but Isca were restricted to one shot on goal which hit the post.

The fitness of Fraser Priestley and the sensible use of the bench meant that the midfield combinations of Brian Kempson, Jon Bray, Richard Pughe and Mark French maintained enough control and Ben Rhydding held on to secure a 1-0 victory.