Friends reunited

PUBLISHED: 10:50 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 May 2010

Stevenage Hockey Club celebrated their 60th anniversary in style recently. Visitors from Gau Algesheim Hockey Club in Germany, who have enjoyed many years of friendship with the local club, joined players past and present in celebrating this milestone in

Stevenage Hockey Club celebrated their 60th anniversary in style recently.

Visitors from Gau Algesheim Hockey Club in Germany, who have enjoyed many years of friendship with the local club, joined players past and present in celebrating this milestone in Stevenage's history.

The weekend kicked off with an England versus Germany match on Saturday which England won 5-0!

A marquee at their Ditchmore Lane ground hosted the annual club dinner dance that evening which was attended by more than 200 past and present players.

These included visitors from Gau Algesheim, and Simon Speller, the mayor elect for Stevenage and a hockey club player himself.

A number of awards were presented on the evening.

These included honorary life memberships to David Cooper and Keith Blaxill plus the president of Gau Algesheim Hockey Club Diethard Grundl. Emma Isherwood was made a vice-president.

Players' player awards went to:

Ladies

First XI: Holly Mould

Second XI: Hilary Holmes

Third XI: Bec Howe

Fourth XI: Maggie O'Connor

Fifth XI: Hilary Siddall

Men

First XI: John Oliver

Second XI: John Mould

Third XI: Paul Youster

Fourth XI: Ian Brown

Fifth XI: Jack Dingley

Sixth XI: Geoff Trew

Their President's Day took place on the Sunday with inter-club matches preceding the club's remaining award presentations.

These saw the veterans lose a nine-goal thriller to the colts, the ladies' first XI thrash the President's XI 8-2 and the men's first XI share eight goals with the President's XI.

Other awards:

U13 mixed: Chris Hall

U15 girls: Georgia Fung

U18 boys: Rob Cornell

U18 girls: Jenny Harding

Veteran: Tony Parker

Most Improved, ladies': Heather Hemmings; men's: Laurie Brown.

Dave Blaxill and Becky Fenwick won the respective clubman and woman of the year awards.

Stevenage Ladies' third XI secured promotion for an incredible fourth season in a row.

Needing a draw for promotion and a win for the title, the thirds had an emphatic 4-1 win over Leighton Buzzard 3rds.

The league champions now move into Division Two of the Five Counties League.

It was stalemate for most of the first half until top scorer Nikki Reynolds found space to slot the ball home.

This lead was shortlived as Buzzard came back with a counter attack and picked up on keeper Jo Cole's clearance to put the scores level again.

After the break, Stevenage pressure eventually paid off when Jo Thorpe fired home a short corner rebound.

Thorpe was on hand again moments later when she capitalised on one of a succession of penalty corners awarded to Stevenage. From a tight angle and on the turn the striker found the bottom corner.

With a more comfortable scoreline, Stevenage continued to press forward as Buzzard offered little to trouble the stalwart defence of Nicky Russell, skipper Andrea Weston and Julie Hutchinson, all of whom made some crucial tackles.

Player of the match Sam Franklin on the right wing made some penetrative runs into the D.

The result was sealed in a great attacking move when Tash Howe found Rebecca Hemmings on the post to calmly slot home.


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