Road to Lee Valley: Masters Finals

Sevenoaks celebrate their masters win 2015

The pace might not be as rapid as it was, but the competitive spirit and the will to win is still there. Read on for the reports of some excellent Masters Finals at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Men’s O50s Trophy: Hereford 0-4 Sevenoaks

A superb goalkeeping display by Hereford’s Pete Preece proved to be in vain as Sevenoaks dominated the Masters O50s Trophy Final. A brace from Henry Robinson and one each for Richard Barrett and David Knox did the damage but without Preece the score could have been more.

The game was played with great spirit and sportsmanship as both sides braved the terrible conditions to treat their supporters to some excellent hockey. Preece had already denied Sevenoaks when Robinson opened the scoring with a lovely deft finish. The No11 grabbed his second on 24 minutes, seizing on a loose ball and firing home to double the advantage.

On the stroke of half time, Robinson turned provider, teeing up Barrett who made space well before slotting into the bottom corner.

Sevenoaks continued to push in the second half and were unlucky not to extend their lead. Stephen Stowell’s clever deflection struck the post and then Barrett hit the other post from the rebound. Preece continued to excel and then when Knox beat him, he too saw his effort thump the woodwork. The Sevenoaks 147 finally got the better of the goalkeeper, smashing home after a rebound to make it 4-0 and put the game beyond doubt, securing the trophy for the Kent side.

Masters O50s Shield: Bournemouth 1-2 Charnwood Mountsorrel.

Charnwood Mountsorrel rounded off a great weekend for Leicestershire hockey following in the footsteps of Vase Winners Coalville Town to capture the O50s Shield. Goals from Colin Taylor and Paddy Oakman were enough to give them the win in a hard-fought battle with Bournemouth.

The first half was an even affair with Bournmouth’s Eric Holt going close with a lovely driving run and shot that flashed just wide of the post. At the other end, Bournemouth goalkeeper Colin Kimber had to be on his mettle early on but he showed good awareness and determination to get out of his goal well to repel the Charnwood attacks.

It was level at the break but both sides had their chances. Into the second half and the Leicestershire outfit thought they’d opened the scoring only for Martin Grevett to effect a superb goal line clearance.

Charnwood drew first blood after a lovely flowing move freed Colin Taylor in the circle. He jinked inside the defender and fired a lovely strike into the bottom corner.

Bournemouth rallied and levelled the scores, a nice turn and shot from, Grevett was turned in at the far post by Andy Goodbourn to square it up. Parity didn’t last long however and Charnwood re-established their lead. The outstanding Oakman cut in from the right, faked a cross and found a gap at the near post, beautifully deceiving the goalkeeper. That proved to be the winner and despite some nervy moments, Charnwood Mountsorrel took the trophy back to Leicestershire with them.

Masters O50s Cup Final: Reading 3-0 Harleston

Reading took the Masters O50s Cup with a 3-0 win over Harleston Magpies. Goals from Rob Thompson, Roger Wall and Tim Armitage gave them the glory in rain at Lee Valley.

There were some lovely skills and some neat passing moves on display in the first half as both sides tried to get a foothold in the game. Reading’s Tim Armitage looked composed on the ball and was at the heart of everything Reading did going forwards whilst Jon Rees’ direct approach play was a constant threat. For Harleston Phillip Cobbald gave the Reading defence plenty to think about with his pace and darting runs from deep looking the most likely source of the opening goal. Despite plenty of industry and endeavour from both sides it remained 0-0 at the break.

Harleston were in the ascendancy at the start of the second half but against the run of play a piece of individual magic from Rob Thompson broke the deadlock. The No10 drove forwards from near half way before hitting a blistering shot into the net giving the goalkeeper no chance. Thompson almost added another but Murray Graham made a fine save to deny him. They didn’t have to wait long for the second however as Roger Wall broke forwards and slotted in with a fine finish. Harleston could have hauled themselves back in it from the penalty spot but Peter Dolton’s effort was saved brilliantly by Suneil Raval diving to his right. Tim Armitage put the game beyond doubt with two minutes to go, scoring the third at the second attempt after a good save from Graham.

Reading celebrated their second trophy of the weekend to the delight of their travelling fans.

Masters O60s Plate Final: Gloucestershire 1-5 Iceni Rex Essex.

A clinical display of finishing from Iceni Rex Essex helped them to a convincing 5-1 win over Gloucestershire in the Masters O60s Plate Final. Braces from Peter Wright and Tim Smith as well as strike from Ken Wooding did the damage in an attacking encounter.

Iceni had got their noses in front when Wright produced a superb finish in the 14th minute and although both sides attacked at will there were no further goals until a late flurry at the end of the first half, sparked by Smith’s first of the day, which made it 2-0 in the 29th minute. Just moments later Wooding made it 3-0 and then Gloucestershire struck back with a goal from Andy Fraser.

Gloucestershire’s task became even more difficult immediately after the break as a lovely piece of skill by Nick King down the right set up Smith who sent a searing strike into the roof of the net for 4-1.

Nigel Sherwood had a chance to restore some pride for Gloucestershire but his shot fizzed just wide of the post. With time running out, the West outfit’s misery was complete as Wright rounded the goalkeeper to finish powerfully for his second and his team’s fifth, making it Iceni 5-1 Gloucestershire.

Masters O40s Cup Final: Stourport 3-1 Khalsa

Stourport took the honours in front of a noisy crowd in a classic all-Midlands clash with a 3-1 defeat of old rivals Khalsa, winning the O40s Cup Final in the process.

With both teams roared on by an enthusiastic crowd the first half was attack vs. defence as the two teams traded blows like a pair of prize fighters in a physical affair. In amongst the blood and thunder, Ian Roberts kept a cool head to give Stourport the lead at the break with a neat finish to make it 1-0.

Surinder Saini went close in the second half with a deft deflection for Khalsa that went just wide and then moments later, David Knott punished their miss with a fierce low shot that thundered into the backboard. With 50 minutes gone it was 3-0 as Neil Brown strode forwards from right back and sent a missile into the roof of the net. Khalsa pulled one back through Surinder Saini but the cushion was restored with a strike from Knott before Brown grabbed his second with just two minutes to play to secure the cup for Stourport to the delight of the travelling fans.

Masters O40s Shield Final: Norwich Dragons 1-2 Taunton Vale.

Taunton Vale took the honours in their encounter with Norwich Dragons to seal the Masters O40s Shield title. Two goals before half time came for Taunton with Norwich notching a late consolation from the spot.

It was an open attacking affair with both sides keen to play some nice passing hockey keeping the supporters of both sides suitably entertained. Despite both goalkeepers being called into action in the early going it took until the 21st minute for the deadlock to be broken and it came from the penalty spot as Jonty Lawford kept his cool to beat John Skittrall.

Taunton gave themselves breathing space just before the break with a second goal; Matt Berry applied the finish to send his side in buoyant at the interval.

Norwich pushed hard for a way back into contest throughout the second period but despite some enterprising attacking play they were kept at arm’s length by some resolute defending form Taunton. They got their goal but it was a case of a consolation rather than a way back in, coming as it did in the 70th minute from a Wolfe penalty stroke.

Masters O60s Cup Final Worcestershire and Herefordshire 1-3 Indian Gymkhana

Indian Gymkhana retained the title they won last year with a comfortable 3-1 win over Worcestershire and Herefordshire in the O60s Cup Final.

The holders scored in the opening salvos with a slick penalty corner which was finished off by Kulbir Bhaura. Worcestershire and Herefordshire hit back a minute later after a nice run and cross from Trevor Denison was turned in by Steve Heslop.
Surjit Panesar showed his quality in the Gymkhana goal with a couple of solid blocks from penalty corners whilst at the other end Bhaura almost had his second but his shot went wide. With 14 minutes on the clock Manjit Ubhi put Gymkhana ahead with a nice finish and then just before the break Manjit Flora scored from the spot to make it 3-1 at half time.

Keith Willis in the W and H goal made a couple of fine saves to ensure the score remained close and at the other end Panesar did well to deny Godfrey Lamb twice in quick succession. With five minutes left W and H thought they’d found a way back into the game but Suti Kehar produced a wonderful goal line clearance to preserve the two-goal cushion and Indian Gymkhana saw the game out to retain the trophy.

Indian Gymkhana and W and H post O60s Final 2015

Masters O40s Trophy Final: Henley 2-3 Cannock.

A goalkeeping masterclass from Henley’s Robin Feasey was not enough as Cannock battled to a 3-2 win in the Masters O40s Trophy Final. Goals from James Roberts, Duncan Woods and Andy Humphrey were enough despite strikes from Paul Chedzey and Dan Herbert for Henley.

Feasey started his defiance of Cannock with an excellent double save early on before making another fine stop to repel a Woods penalty corner. At the other end Jody Measures showed good skills to engineer some space but his low shot was saved by Jon Chappell.
Cannock's Rob Davies latched onto an aerial and hit a reverse on the bounce but Feasey got a strong glove on the ball once again. It was looking like there was no way past the Henley goalkeeper but then shortly before half time, James Roberts slipped the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs from a penalty corner to make it 1-0.

A minute after the break Paul Chedzey levelled the scores with a well taken finish for Henley before Woods was kept out once more by Feasey.

Woods eventually got the better of the goalkeeper with a splendid goal, diving to get a touch onto a long pass from Chris Mayer to divert the ball into the roof of the net. Henley refused to lie down, however and Herbert produced a lovely finish on the turn to make it 2-2.
Thoughts started to turn to a penalty shootout but Cannock had other ideas and Humphrey bagged the winner with time running out from a well-worked penalty corner to break Henley hearts and send the trophy to Cannock.