BANGOR City men’s hockey team gave a much-improved display against runaway NWHL Division Three leaders Stockport Bramhall on Saturday, but they eventually succumbed to a battling 3-1 defeat.

The Blues went in at half time in the lead after a dominant display in the opening 35 minutes. Debutant Peers Lisle put Bangor one up after 14 minutes, smartly converting a cross from winger Flynn Holt with a lofted near post finish.

Lisle steered two further chances just wide as City continued to press the visitors, who were becoming increasingly frustrated.

Stockport were awarded a penalty flick on 26 minutes after a strong tackle from Andrzej Griffith, but goalkeeper Rayshauun Suen dived superbly to his right to save the resulting flick.

The second half was a more open and fiery affair as Stockport upped the tempo. After a spell of pressure, they equalised on 49 minutes with a deft lobbed effort.

Despite the equaliser, the game remained very much in the balance for both sides. Suen pulled off a couple more saves to deny Bramhall, while Lisles and Dave Paterson came close at the other end for City.

However, with 11 minutes remaining, the away side went ahead for the first time after scrambling the ball home from close range.

And Bangor’s hopes of rescuing a point were dashed three minutes from time when the Stockfordians added a third goal with an angled low shot, to keep their title charge firmly on track.

Despite the encouraging and industrious display, City remain second-from-botom in Division Three, with five matches remaining. Next Saturday sees Bangor travel to Timperley (4pm).