Road to Lee Valley: The Finals

cup finals medals and trophy

This weekend Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre plays host to the Men’s Knockout Finals. With 13 titles up for grabs over the two days, the Road to Lee Valley reaches its exciting conclusion with plenty of drama and goals in prospect. Here’s a rundown of the games ahead.

The first game of the day is the 2nd Xi Plate Final between Sussex outfit Lewes and Nottinghamshire’s Beeston.

Lewes have had a tough season in the league, finishing in the lower reaches of the Kent/Sussex League and subsequently suffering relegation. The cup has proved to be a nice distraction for them; however as wins over Bexleyheath and Belvedere (11-1), Eastcote (walkover), Stafford (6-3) and Bedford (4-3) secured them a spot at finals day. Although they have been in the final of this competition before (2010-11 and 2011-12) they lost out narrowly in both finals, so will be hoping to exorcise those demons and pick up the title.

Standing in their way is a formidable Beeston outfit. They saw off Berkswell and Balsall Common (4-1), Didsbury Northern (5-1), Blackheath (W/O) and Old Bordenian (5-3). In their league campaign they finished fourth in the very competitive Midlands 2nd XI Premier Division, winning 13 games and scoring 67 goals. Lewes will have to be at their best to stop the Nottinghamshire giants, but that’s what the cup is all about.

Next up is the Vase Final, pitting two league champions and prolific goal scorers against each other as Crawley meet Coalville Town.

Both sides have had stellar seasons, winning their respective leagues and have been in irresistible form on the way to the final. They have scored 60 goals between them in the knockout rounds including a 9-0 semi-final win by Coalville over Tamworth. It is fair to say this is a tough one to call, but whatever happens, the spectators will be granted their share of goalmouth action. For more on Crawley’s run to the final, click here.

After the Vase, the Trophy takes centre stage with holders Guernsey hoping to defend their crown against Sheffield University Bankers, who are having a phenomenal season. Bankers have not lost this campaign and have scored plenty of goals, too, netting 100 times in the league and 30 times in four games in the Trophy. A title would be a perfect end to a perfect season for them, but Guernsey who tasted the agony of defeat in this competition as recently as 2012-13, when they were beaten by Lewes will fancy their chances after a typically stylish run to the final. The holders vs. the first ever winners, it should be a cracking match.

Then comes the main event as the two Premier Division sides slug it out for the cup as Reading take on Surbiton. The teams have had contrasting fortunes in the league this season with Surbiton narrowly missing out on top spot and Reading finishing in the bottom half, a low position for a club of such stature. Both teams have won this competition in recent years with Reading collecting the cup in 2008-09 and Surbiton in 2012-13. Reading’s crop of young guns will go in with no fear against Surbiton’s high flyers and with both sides scoring plenty of goals en route the final, including Surbiton’s 18-0 first round win over Marlow, it promises to be an exciting spectacle with some great players on show.

Surbiton fans will be roaring another of their teams on in the last game of the day as the 2nd XI Cup final takes place between the Sugden Road outfit and Cannock. Cannock knocked out holders Southgate in the quarter-finals and have looked unstoppable in a run that has taken in wins over Leicester, Timperley, Brooklands and Team Bath Buccaneers, who they beat 4-0 in the semi-finals. Surbiton have had some tough games on the Road to Lee Valley also with a penalty shootout needed to see off Loughborough Students in the semi-finals. Two good 2nd XI sides with a smattering of class players, it should be an exciting game.

Sunday promises to be an action packed day of hockey too, with the Masters Competitions taking centre stage.

Sevenoaks, who enjoyed great success last weekend in the Women’s Masters, are back for a shot at the O50s Trophy against Hereford. The O50s Shield pits Bournemouth up against Charnwood Mountsorrel before Reading and Harleston Magpies clash in the O50s Cup. If that wasn’t enough, Iceni Rex Essex will play Gloucestershire in the O60s Plate with the O40s cup a mouth-watering clash between Stourport and Khalsa. Norwich Dragons and Taunton Vale will follow in the O40s Shield and Worcestershire and Herefordshire try to half the tricks and skills of Indian Gymkhana in the O60s Cup. The weekend is rounded off by the O40s Trophy between Henley and Cannock.

Tickets are still available for Men's Knockout Finals weekend. The schedule of the weekend is below and tickets can be purchased here.  

Saturday 2nd May 2015
09:30 - NOW: Pensions Men's 2nd XI Plate Final - Lewes v Beeston
11:30 - NOW: Pensions Men's Vase Final - Coalville Town v Crawley
13:30 - NOW: Pensions Men's Trophy Final - Sheffield University Bankers v Guernsey
15:30 - NOW: Pensions Men's Cup Final - Reading v Surbiton
17:30 - NOW: Pensions Men's 2nd XI Cup Final - Cannock v Surbiton

Sunday 3rd May 2015
09:00 - NOW: Pensions Men's Masters O50s Trophy Final - Hereford v Sevenoaks
10:00 - Men's Masters O50s Shield Final (Pitch 2) - Bournemouth v Charnwood Mountsorrel
11:00 - NOW: Pensions Men's Masters O50s Cup Final - Reading v Harleston Magpies
12:00 - Men's Masters O60s Plate Final (Pitch 2) - Gloucestershire v Iceni Rex Essex
13:00 - NOW: Pensions Men's Masters O40s Cup Final - Stourport v Khalsa (Warks)
14:00 - Men's Masters O40s Shield Final (Pitch 2) - Norwich Dragons v Taunton Vale
15:00 - Men's Masters O60s Cup Final - Worcestershire & Herefordshire v Indian Gymkhana
17:00 - NOW: Pensions Men's Masters O40s Trophy Final - Henley v Cannock