The Road to Lee Valley: Finals Reports

Coalville Town Celebrate their Vase Win

The Road to Lee Valley reaches its exciting conclusion as five trophies are up fro grabs on day one of the Men's Knockout Finals. See below for all the match reports.

2nd XI Plate Final:

LEWES (1) 1         -       1 (2) BEESTON
Seb Daniels 19 (PC)     Alex Bell 5 (F)
                                      Elliot Knight 57 (PC)

Beeston saw off a spirited challenge from Lewes to hold on to win the 2nd XI Plate Final in an absorbing game. Goals from Alex Bell and Elliot Knight were enough to capture the trophy but it was far from a walk in the park.

Lewes were on the front foot throughout the early stages moving the ball well and forcing Beeston back but after five minutes Beeston showed their class with Bell pouncing on a loose ball after a cross from the left to stab home and make it 1-0.

Beeston grew in influence but after 17 minutes a good run from Lewes’ Will Wycherley won them a penalty corner. The initial move broke down but the ball popped up to skipper Seb Daniels who volleyed brilliantly into the bottom corner to level it up. Moments later Josh Pewter was forced to dash from the Lewes goal to effect a fine save from Sam Apoola before making a good block from an Alex Bell penalty corner.

Beeston came out strongly in the second half and on 42 minutes Bell stung the goalkeeper’s pads with a strong backhand strike from an acute angle. With 13 minutes left, Daniels was shown a yellow card and from the resultant penalty corner Beeston took the lead. Pewter saved the first effort but the rebound broke to Knight who kept his composure to fire in an unstoppable strike. Jack Pogson almost made it 3-1 as Lewes legs started to tire but he couldn't keep his shot down. The Sussex side removed their goalkeeper as a last throw of the dice but it was to no avail and Beeston took home the title.

Beeston captain Dave Henderson told England Hockey afterwards: “It’s great to be here and to get the win. We didn’t play our best but it’s great to get over the line and I’m proud of the boys. We’re a hard working team and we relish the chance to play against a different side. They gave us a good test but we were ready and we did the club proud today.”

Men’s Vase Final:

COALVILLE TOWN (1) 2      -      2 (1) CRAWLEY (4-2 APS)
Calum Slaney 6 (F)                     Seb Watson 28 (F)
Jack Baker 52 (PC)                     Carl Wright 46 (PC)

Coalville Town completed the second leg of a league and cup double after holding their nerve to see off Crawley in a penalty shootout. The two sides treated the partisan crowd to an exciting game as they threw everything at each other over the 70 minutes, drawing 2-2 before Coalville won the penalty shootout.

The first half started at an incredible pace with both sides determined to put their mark on the game. It was Coalville who settled the better of the two with Calum Slaney pulling the strings from midfield. On six minutes Crawley were unlucky not to go ahead as Steve Innes was in the clear only for his shot to thump the woodwork and bounce to safety.

It was the influential Slaney who broke the deadlock after a good advantage from the umpire he slammed home an unstoppable backhand strike. Crawley went close through a Brendan Maccaolite penalty corner but Paul Glover saved well. On 28 minutes it was all square as Seb Watson showed great instinct to fire home from a tight angle.

At the start of the second half the teams traded chances as Jack Baker struck the woodwork and Crawley’s Hasah Yousaf showed good strength to create the chance before firing over the top. With 14 minutes of the second half gone, Carl Wright nudged the Sussex side in front, calmly picking his spot in a crowded circle to find the target and make it 2-1.

The lead lasted just six minutes however as Baker slotted home a penalty corner to level it up again. With six minutes remaining Crawley’s Rob Gate had a glorious chance to win it but with the goal the gaping Glover made a quite miraculous save to deny him.

The game went to shootout and Glover continued his fine form, saving Crawley’s first. With all the Coalville players scoring and Crawley missing another it was down to skipper Phil Sign to seal the win, which he duly to did to spark wild celebrations.

A delighted Sign, the Coalville captain told England Hockey: “We felt we did enough during the game to win. They were a good team but our momentum from winning our league seemed to carry over. The atmosphere is incredible and this place is bouncing. A lot of us have played a long time but never experienced anything like this before. We wanted to make the most of it and obviously it came together. I just wanted to make a decent contact on the last stroke, and luckily it went in!”

SHEFFIELD UNIV BANKERS (1) 2     -        2 (1) GUERNSEY (6-5 APS)James Osbourne 27 (F)                              Steve Waldrom 8 (F)
Nick Fletcher 60 (F)                                    Matt Stokes 52 (F)

Sheffield University Bankers Goalkeeper Simon Hibbert was the hero for his team with two stunning saves in the penalty shootout to hand the Yorkshire side the Trophy and break Guernsey hearts in dramatic fashion.

The two sides had played out a 2-2 draw over 70 minutes with Guernsey striking through Steve Waldrom and Matt Stokes whilst Sheffield hit back through James Osbourne and Nick Fletcher, but with Guernsey going into a shootout for the second year running, Hibbert stepped up to deny the Islanders. 

Sheffields Hibbert takes the plaudits

The game was a cagey affair with both sides seemingly sizing each other up in the opening exchanges. Waldrom broke the deadlock with a deft tip in to make it 1-0 to Guernsey.
Jack Culmer flashed a deflection over the bar as Bankers searched for an equaliser before Jack Coulson lifted the ball over the goalkeeper but also the goal. With 25 minutes gone the equaliser came. Some neat approach play in the circle from Sheffield was finished off by Osbourne with the ball creeping over the line.

The second half opened up a little and a nice move down the right for Guernsey resulted in a sliding Matt Stokes guiding the ball home at the far post to give his side the lead.

Captain Matt Godden went close with a penalty corner but with 25 minutes on the clock Sheffield had their equaliser as a cross from the right found its way to Fletcher who made no mistake.

With no further score it went to a shootout and Simon Hibbert stepped up brilliantly for the Yorkshire side, saving once in the first barrage of five and then again in sudden death to give his team a dramatic 6-5 win and the title.

Matthew Godden, the Sheffield captain could not hide his delight at winning the title telling England Hockey:

"It feels fantastic, we’ve had a great season and this caps it off nicely. We wanted to get the job done; we’ve had to battle York all the way to win our league so it’s felt like we’ve had a cup final every week for a while. Today we just took at as all the other games and the boys handled it really well. Our goalkeeper has been outstanding all year. He’s been our player of the season so to see him pull off those saves and get us the trophy is brilliant."

2nd XI Cup Final

CANNOCK (2) 3             -           1 (1) SURBITON
Louie Morris 5 (F)                      Adam Jolly 7 (PC)
Aaron Wilkes 29 (PS)
Callum Swinnerton-Ions 44 (F)

Cannock held off the challenge of Surbiton to win the 2nd XI Cup Final. Goals from Louie Morris, Aaron Wilkes and Tom Morris were enough to get the silverware back to Chase Park and send the travelling fans wild.

Cannock drew first blood with an excellent move down the right hand side setting up Louie Morris to apply the finish and break the deadlock. The lead didn’t last long however as Adam Jolly’s rocket penalty corner hit the roof of the net to make it 1-1. The game flowed from end to end and on 20 minutes Reece Jecketts found some space in the Surbiton circle but his shot flew over the bar. Ore Ogunlana made a fine double save and at the other end Alex Penney lobbed Fair only for his effort to go over the bar. With six minutes till the break Cannock took the lead from the penalty spot thanks to a powerful penalty stroke from Aaron Wilkes, nudging them in front at the break.

Cannock extended their lead ten minutes after the break, a long weaving run by Swinneton-Ions caused havoc in the Surbiton defence and Tom Morris slotted in the third. Callum Stacey and Chris Beck both tested Ogunlana’s reflexes from penalty corners but the young goalkeeper was up to the job and kept his side in the hunt, but there were to be no more goals and Cannock took the trophy.

Captain Will Fleet told England Hockey “It’s a fantastic feeling. These lads have had a tough year so to come back and win today has been brilliant. Surbiton are very strong and we knew they’d give us a test; they’re a great side and on another day could have won. Great to see such a vocal Cannock crowd and we’ll enjoy the celebrations tonight."

Tomorrow it is the turn of the Masters teams to take centre stage as their finals take place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. For all the details, click here.