Great weekend for Saints but national final qualification for ladies puts cherry on top
- Credit: Archant
The first teams may both have picked up superb wins but it was the more-experienced ladies that were taking centre stage at St Albans Hockey Club.
The over-45 women’s team have reached a national final for the first time after a narrow victory over Cambridge City in the semi-final.
A slow start to the game got better as Helen Waddell pounced on a defensive error and found Mary Oswin at the far post to make it 1-0 at half-time.
City came back after the break to take the lead but with just 30 seconds remaining Helen Anton won a penalty corner from which Sarah Embrey found Liz Cleverly and she deflected it home.
That meant a penalty shoot-out was needed but Saints kept their nerve with keeper Dawn Forshaw the hero with a big save.
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The final will take place on April 27 at the Olympic Park.
The men’s first team need just five more points from their final three games to confirm their promotion to the national leagues after a late onslaught gave them a 6-2 win away to West Herts.
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They trailed 2-1 at half-time despite Pete Cornell’s goal and although George Scott equalised after the break, it was still level with seven minutes to go.
However, Tariq Marcano fired them ahead and Dillet Gilkes, skipper Matt Davey and Hugo Christie finished things off.
Davey said: “Away from home it’s sometimes harder to convert, but persistence paid off. I was proud of how we stuck to our own game and stayed composed when West Herts managed to apply some pressure in the second half.”
Saints host Letchworth on Saturday.
The ladies are in good shape too after winning 2-0 at Southgate.
They need to finish in the top six to remain in the Investec Conference East, the second tier of hockey in the country.
And thanks to goals either side of half-time from Natasha Humphris and Adele Sammons they are doing just that.
Coach Ravi Vijh said: “I’m pleased how professionally we took to the task at hand and got the result we deserved.
“We are now unbeaten in three games and I hope we can take that momentum into our final three games.”
They travel to league leaders Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday.