A MAKESHIFT Bury side came away from Cumbria with a draw to keep their lead at the top of the North West Hockey League’s Division Five North.

The threadbare local side were without Matt Cooke, Ben Cooper, James Berry, Chris McManus, Alex Cherry, Joe Ainscow and David Matthews, in addition to long-term absentees Calvin Flowers and Charlie MacLeod and they were forced to shuffle their formation to make the most of who was available. Nevertheless, a free-flowing game developed and Luke Fidler put the visitors ahead after his initial shot was saved on 31 minutes.

The Bury hot-shot was then forced to leave the field for 10 minutes after committing deliberate obstruction.

Keswick made the most of their one-man advantage and grabbed an equaliser through Jack Chipendale on 38 minutes. Fidler’s return to action heralded another purple patch of Bury play and the strikere restored the lead on 58 minutes, before Johnny Howard in the Bury goal made a great save to prevent another equaliser.

However, Chipendale struck again late on to secure a point for the home side, but Bury were relieved to escape undefeated.

Bury host derby rivals Bolton at Castlebrook High School on Saturday.