Knock Out Competitions Come to Thrilling Climax

This weekend saw the thrilling climax of the national senior and junior knock out competitions with teams from around the country being made national champions.
Senior Cup & Plate Finals

Old Loughtonians was the scene of the Senior Finals, which included the Men’s and Women’s Trophy and Vase, Men’s Veterans and Vintage Cup and Plate and the Women’s Veterans Cup.

First up was the Women’s Vase, which saw East Grinstead gain revenge on Lewes, who had beaten them to their league title by just three points.  The game was evenly poised all the way through before two goals in the last ten minutes sent East Grinstead to victory.  The Women’s Trophy followed shortly afterwards, and witnessed a more convincing victory as Chichester Priory Park beat Broxbourne 8-3 to end their undefeated season.  Verena Sambel and Claire Greenway both scored hat-tricks in a game that was more or less over by half time with Chichester Priory Park leading 6-0.

The Harrod UK Men’s Trophy saw Guernsey take the honours for the first time in a tense affair with Henley.  With the scores level at 2-2, Guernsey player-coach Ben Allberry scored a brace to take the game away from Henley, whose late goal was nothing but consolation.  The Men’s Vase was won by Sunbury, who got the better of Gainsborough Rose in a game that went to penalty strokes after the teams had drawn 2-2 after extra time.

The Vintage and Veterans matches took place on Sunday with Eastcote beating Chester in the day’s first match in the Men’s Vintage Plate.  Eastcote lost out in last season’s final but made sure of the win this time around with Maqsood Ahmed scoring a hat-trick in the 5-2 victory.  The Vintage Cup was won by Richmond who took revenge on Indian Gymkhana for beating them in the final two years ago.  Two first half goals from Alex Chiang were enough to secure a 2-0 victory.

The Men’s Veterans Cup also went to new winners with Barford Tigers defeating last season’s champions Ipswich.  The scores were level with ten minutes remaining but a brace from Amanpreet Nijjar made sure of the victory for Barford Tigers.  Jersey were unable to make it two wins for Channel Island teams over the weekend as they lost 3-2 to Kingston-upon-Hull in the Men’s Veterans Plate.  This was another close match with Nick Smith scoring the winner on 68 minutes after Jersey had equalised just a minute before.

The Women’s Veterans tournament also took place on Sunday with five teams participating in a round robin competition.  Teddington proved to be the strongest team in the tournament as they just beat St Austell to top spot.  The vital game between the sides came halfway through the day when Michelle Mitchell scored the only goal of the game for Teddington in a 1-0 victory.  Northampton were the only other unbeaten team in the tournament but they failed to win a game, finishing third with four draws.

Junior Cup Finals

The rain clouds stayed away on the weekend of the Junior Cup Finals at the University of Birmingham where 16 teams went head-to-head in the Boys’ & Girls’ U15 and U18 Cups on a round robin basis.

The Boys’ U15 Cup was dominated by Bromley & Beckenham, who scored 13 goals and conceded just one as they won all three of their matches.  Dominic Coe O'Brien finished top scorer with six goals as Bromley & Beckenham eased their way to victory.  City of Peterborough were the unfortunate team that lost all of their matches with Cannock showing promise to finish second with Teddington in third.

The Boys’ U18 Cup was much closer with all teams in with a good chance of winning.  Langley Park showed promise early on as they brushed aside Southampton 3-0 in their first match, but with Southampton beating Old Loughtonians 2-1 and Stourport defeating Langley Park 3-1, it was anybody’s to win.  Southampton then squeezed past Stourport 3-2, which meant that Langley Park just needed to beat Old Loughtonians to win on goal difference. Old Loughtonians’ Harry Kempe had other ideas though, scoring a hat-trick to help his side to a 3-1 win, which left Southampton as champions and Langley Park as the bottom club.

The Girls’ U15 Cup was again won by Wakefield, who won twice and drew once.  Their draw came in their final match, against Teddington, who could have taken first spot with a win but had to settle for second with two draws and a win.  Lytham St Annes beat Surbiton 2-0 in the last fixture to claim third spot in their first ever appearance in the national finals.

The Girls’ U18 Cup was again won by Belper but they had to work hard for their success.  Going into the last match, Belper and Wakefield were level on points with Belper holding a one goal advantage.  Wakefield looked like they would be the team to take the cup after they led 2-0 but two goals in the last ten minutes from Belper ensured that they won the cup on goal difference.  Reading and Leicester had lost to both Belper and Wakefield going into their final match, which Reading won 1-0 to take third spot.

Junior Plate Finals

The Girls’ U15 Plate Final was won by Havering after a penalty stroke competition against Belper.  Belper were first to score through Rachel Griffiths but Havering responded to level the score before half time with a goal from their captain, Emily Defroand.  It took Belper just second half minutes to go back into the lead through Lowri McIntosh.  Havering, however, fought hard and again Defroand found the back of the net from a penalty corner.  The stroke competition went to sudden death at two-a-piece before Defroand stepped up to the mark and score to give her team the National title.

The Girls’ U18 Plate Final was dominated by Horsham with a 5-1 victory over Matlock Baileans.  It took a while for Horsham to break the deadlock but two penalty corner goals for Jess Dean before half time gave them the advantage.  Dean scored again after the break to complete her hat-trick; this time with a field goal.  Matlock worked hard to keep the game alive with a goal through Rebecca Bowman but that hope did not last long with two more Horsham goals, a fourth for Dean and another for Izzy Gibson, sealing the title for Horsham. The title was well deserved after their U16s narrowly missed out on the National Indoor title in January. 

The Boys’ U18 Plate Final ended with Eastbourne working hard to win 4-1 over Ashford.  Eastbourne looked the better side in the first half, scoring the opener through Steve Perry, and adding another shortly after the break from an Oli Varney penalty corner.  Ashford managed to pull the game back to 2-1 when Charles Cottrell scored but Eastbourne proved too strong with two more goals from Mike Cosma and Justin Wittig securing the title.

Reading finished an inch ahead of their opposition, Old Loughtonians, in the Boys’ U15 Plate Final, beating them 2-1 in a very close game.  Old Loughts looked the better team in the first half creating the better chances but Reading’s defence remained strong leaving no score at half time.  Old Loughts scored first through Mark Agass ten minutes into the second half but Joseph Mahony was quick to reply for Reading.  With just two minutes remaining, the deciding goal came as a result of great determination from Reading’s Henry Milroy, who scored to make it 2-1, much to the delight of the Reading supporters and ending a fantastic day of youth hockey.

To find all the results and scorers from the weekend's tournaments and competitions visit the Competitons section of the website.