Lincolnshire are National County Champions

Thursday, 6th of June 2013 | Posted by
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This was posted by Lincoln Hockey Club prior to the creation of Lindum Hockey Club
I though you might be interested in an article about the success last Sunday of the Lincolnshire Men’s Hockey team in winning the England Hockey National County Championships and being crowned County Men’s Champions of England, for the first time since 1957’s inaugural county championship tournament.

Lincolnshire Flag

Last Sunday, 2nd of June, saw Lincolnshire win the England Hockey County Championship for Men at Wakefield Hockey Club. Having qualified in the Preliminary Round at Doncaster Hockey Club on the weekend of 11th and 12th of May in beating the hosts Yorkshire 3-1, Staffordshire 4-1, Hertfordshire 10-0, but losing 5-0 to a fresher Lancashire side in their last game. They went through as runners up of Division A, Pool 1 by a one goal difference to Staffordshire and on to the Finals Day at Wakefield HC, who boast two waterbased artificial grass pitches. Lincolnshire were drawn against the Pool 2 winners, Sussex, in their semi-final. The county had been very fortunate in securing the services of England and Great Britain international Glenn Kirkham, who captained the side, but this was by no means a one player team. The side was based around many players born and raised through club hockey in Lincolnshire moving on, in some cases, to National League sides throughout England and Wales.

The county had been very fortunate in securing the services of England and Great Britain international Glenn Kirkham

Kirkham led by example and marshalled the side with the experience of one who has played at the highest level in the sport, but support from other experienced members David Appleton, Simon Miles and Jonny Bryan, who all played in the successful National Champions Lincolnshire Under 21 side of 2001, was also necessary for Lincolnshire to reap the rewards. Lincolnshire dominated most of the game, so much so that in the first half the Lincolnshire goal-keeper, Chris Vine, never touched the ball. Despite having all the pressure Lincolnshire could only score the single goal of the game with a brilliant move down the left from Bryan to Ben Read, who crossed the ball early for Stuart Cunnington to deflect home for a very well taken deciding goal.

In the final Lincolnshire were drawn against Staffordshire for the second time in the tournament, with them having disposed of Shropshire in their semi-final. Despite the fact that Staffordshire had strengthened their team from Doncaster with more Cannock HC National League players, Lincolnshire were not going to be overawed. Kirkham worked his magic with the squad, giving them the support and confidence that they could succeed and get something from the match, but it was Staffordshire who started the better and won a number of penalty corners in the first 10 minutes which Lincolnshire defended really well. Eventually the tide turned and it was Lincolnshire in the ascendancy when on 11 minutes Appleton was on hand to slip the ball past the Staffordshire goalkeeper to give Lincolnshire the lead. Our local county side was now playing the better hockey, but at this level there is always a chance of the other team going level. Lincolnshire held out well and just before half-time they doubled their score with a well taken low drag flick from Cunnington at a penalty corner.

Our local county side was now playing the better hockey, but at this level there is always a chance of the other team going level

2 – 0 up and Lincolnshire were on a roll, starting the second half how they had ended the first – in command. Even so, they were still vulnerable to some very positive Staffordshire attacks, but their game was often limited due to players with individual flare not passing soon enough. After 45 minutes Staffordshire clawed one back to make it 2 – 1 through Inderpal Soor, and through Lincolnshire’s first error of poor marking. Great play from Greg Nolan in holding the ball and by the Lincolnshire midfield of Kirkham, David Appleton, Andy Appleton and the tireless David Dykes, Lincolnshire still dominated the midfield and with a range of substitutes being used, Lincolnshire were now well on top. It came as no surprise when David Appleton scored his second after 65 minutes to secure the game for Lincolnshire, with a blistering reverse stick shot into the roof of the net which the keeper just did not see. The last 10 minutes had Lincolnshire keeping possession and giving Staffordshire little chance of scoring again, and our local county team carried the spoils to the end as the deserved winners.

A fantastic achievement by our players who four tournaments ago won the C Division Final, and were beaten finalists in the B Divison Final last year, securing promotion to the top A Division for this year and then going on to win the accolade of top county in England.

Squad as per photograph:

Lincolnshire Mens Champions Team 2013

(Back Row) Andy Wright (Physio), Tony Perrin (Manager), Chris Vine (GK), Tom White, Adam Bull, Stuart Cunnington, Ross Booth, Jonny Bryan, Simon Miles, John Cunnington (Ass. Manager)

(Front Row) Sam Temple-Baxter, Greg Nolan, James Wright, Ben Read, Glenn Kirkham, David Appleton, David Dykes, Andy Appleton, Steve Rigby

Tony Perrin
Manager

Lincolnshire Men’s Hockey Team

 

The team contained five ex-Lincoln Hockey Club Junior players in Steve Rigby, David Dykes, James Wright, Greg Nolan and Sam Temple-Baxter, Mens 1st XI player Andy Wright as Physio and Lincoln Hockey Club President Tony Perrin as Manager.

This was posted by Lincoln Hockey Club prior to the creation of Lindum Hockey Club

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