Saints rise to the top

Cup win makes it a good weekend all round for St Albans HC

HOCKEY: ST ALBANS mens first XI moved to the top of the Eastern Premier Division and into the next round of the Cup after back-to-back victories over the weekend.

On an exceptionally warm start to October, St Albans welcomed Ipswich to Clarence Park, a team that have proven to be tough opponents over the years.

The game was a cagey affair in the first 10 minuets and it was Ipswich who created the first opportunities winning a couple of penalty corners. The St Albans defence held strong however and their composure and patience was rewarded from a well worked goal.

A quickly taken 16 saw Ipswich out of position and with a few swift passes, Tom Burrows was able to find the net for his first goal in a tangerine shirt. From this point on St Albans kept possession well and saw the first half out one-nil up.

With temperatures reaching the high twenties, both teams knew possession was key to the second half and it was the Saints who took the initiative. The back four stayed composed on the ball and made the Ipswich forwards work hard in their pressing. The tactics proved correct as holes started to open up in the Ipswich ranks and St Albans were gifted a second goal mid-way through the half with Steve Hurworth tapping the ball into an empty net.

With a two goal lead, St Albans had the game won but they didn’t take their foot off the gas and a third came quickly with Tom Burrows tapping in on the left hand post to record his second goal of the game.

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“A 3-0 win is nothing more than we deserved today,” commented stand in captain David Williams. “The boys worked hard in this heat to produce the type of hockey we know we can play against a tough opposition.”

On Sunday, St Albans made the long trip to Lincolnshire to play a first round cup match against Long Sutton. In hot conditions again, St Albans triumphed 5-2 with goals from Williams, Andy Tyler, Tom Burrows and two from Steve Hurworth.