Visitors Preston Hockey Club gave champions Bowdon a bit of a scare, before going down 3-2.
The Whites took a bumper travelling support in what proved to be very much a game of contrasting halves.
Knowing the intensity of Bowdon’s play, Preston knew they would have to be at the races to challenge the Trafford outfit in all areas of the pitch.
Preston began brightly and made some promising openings including an early short-corner which was smothered by the Bowdon defence.
However on the 11-minute mark the home team opened the scoring through Liam Kennerley, as Preston were caught out on the left and made to pay.
Just six minutes later Bowdon were two up, this time Ben White capitalising on a breakdown of play outside Preston’s defensive D.
Preston fought back and came close through Dave Greenough with a reverse-stick effort.
Then a delightful ball was hit through the D from Adam Wilson, where Ben Scott timed his run perfectly to deflect home into the bottom corner to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
Just as Preston were looking to level things up, they were set back again just before half-time, when Jack Williams squeezed the ball under Preston keeper Matty Potts.
At half-time, Preston head coach Peter Nicholson gave the rally call and urged his team to hit the second half running and cut out the individual errors.
His team talk was very effective.
Preston came out firing in the second period and caused Bowdon all sorts of trouble.
The two short-corners that Preston won were well saved by the Bowdon keeper.
But Preston hard pressing and attacking play resulted in three separate sin-bins from Bowdon for late and mis-timed challenges.
With a little over a minute to go, in-form goal-scorer Greenough reduced the deficit from a tight angle.
But it was to prove too little too late.
Nicholson said: “We can take many positives from this game.
“Although results aren’t going our way, performances and endeavour are improving week by week.
“Bowdon away was never going to be an easy game, particularly with their history of success at this level.
“However, we gave them more than a fright and look forward to the return match before Christmas.”