Gallery: Tangerines’ men 1sts win opener; ladies dominate Maidenhead

Luke Samarasinghe takes on Rob Baxter

Luke Samarasinghe takes on Rob Baxter - Credit: Archant

St Albans Hockey Club’s men’s 1sts began their East Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win against Blueharts at Hitchin.

Strong defensive performances for the away side during an evenly-matched and goalless first half built a solid platform and opportunities began to emerge. Half-time saw an adjustment to maximise use of space created by St Albans centre halves Mark Lowden and Tom Hudson.

Then, after a period in which corner opportunities went begging and Blueharts threatened, St Albans took the lead when John Mould won a penalty corner which Matt Davey fired low for Luke Samarasinghe to deflect into the goal.

The second goal followed soon when another corner was deflected by Craig Smith onto a foot on the line and the resulting penalty flick was calmly converted by Lowden.

Back at home, the returning Holly Parsons led the St Albans ladies’ 1sts to an emphatic 5-1 win over Maidenhead at Oaklands. Great all-round performances saw the tangerines dominate the game from the start, going 4-0 up within 24 minutes through Chrissie Horn, Ellie Watton, Tash Humphis and Amy Kee.

The scoring was completed by penalty corners either side of half-time, from Maidenhead player-coach Jane Smith and a second for Humphris. Marie Jones was again outstanding in the St Albans midfield and Donna McGuigan excellent at left half.

Elsewhere, the club picked up five wins and four draws. Andy Golding led the club’s new men’s 8ths to a 4-0 victory over West Herts in their first ever league game. The ladies’ 2nds matched the 1sts with a 5-1 home win of their own against Crostyx. England and GB player Ellie Watton became the club’s first ever pool coach, taking charge for the Ladies’ 5ths in their 3-3 draw against St Neots.

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This Saturday is a Friends Reunited day at the club, with everyone including friends of the club and former players invited to Oaklands to renew old acquaintances, make new friends and cheer on the 1st teams. The ladies have a crunch match against East Grinstead at 1pm and the men take on Bedford at 3pm.