Saints’ super second-half not enough for title but a great way to send off club stalwart
- Credit: Archant
St Albans Hockey Club’s men just missed out on promotion to the national leagues despite a comfortable 3-0 victory over Harleston Magpies on the final day of the season at Oaklands College.
Unfortunately at the same time their main rivals City of Peterborough were enjoying an 8-2 success at Chelmsford to take the East League Premier Division title by a point.
The Tangerines have still had an extremely successful season, winning 18 of their 22 games and they will feel hard done by to not be promoted after scoring 108 goals and having a goal difference of 81.
Fittingly it was a bright and warm afternoon but despite the visitors having the better of the play in the first half, they were unable to create many clear-cut chances, and the match was still goal-less at half time.
And as the match progressed the home side got into their stride and started to dominate possession.
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However, this dominance started to turn into goals later in the half.
Centre-back Simon Clapham ghosted forward unmarked into the opposition circle and, once found, calmly slotted past the Magpies keeper to break the deadlock.
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A second goal soon followed when the St Albans forwards robbed their rivals of the ball and veteran forward Matthew Street played in Tariq Marcano who, as cool as a cucumber, lobbed the onrushing Magpies keeper to make it 2-0.
Top scorer Marcano, a Trinidad and Tobago international, then added his 22nd goal of the season and his second of the match.
This came as he fired a drag flick high into the net from a short corner and the score remained 3-0 at full-time.
The game also marked an end of an era as it was the final match for club stalwart and team head coach Andy Bowskill.
And after 40 years of dedicated service as a player, manager and coach at the club, he was delighted to go out on such a high note.
Bowskill said: “There have been times this season when the team has needed to step up and produce quality hockey.
“Saturday’s second-half performance hit new heights with wonderful combination play complemented by three spectacular goals.
“To take the points and confirm a runners-up position in the league. It has been a terrific performance all season from a special group of people.”
East League Premier A
P W D L F A Pts
Peterborough 22 18 3 1 118 28 57
St Albans 22 18 2 2 108 27 56
Wapping 22 15 5 2 85 37 50
Bedford 22 14 4 4 90 38 46
Harleston Magpies 22 13 5 4 97 33 44
Cambridge Uni 22 10 2 10 58 66 32
Chelmsford 22 5 5 12 52 72 20
Letchworth 22 5 4 13 43 83 19
Saffron Walden 22 5 3 14 40 89 18
Ipswich 22 4 4 14 35 86 16
Spalding 22 2 3 17 42 137 9
Blueharts 22 1 4 17 24 96 7