German links flourish at town’s hockey club

This Easter sees Stevenage Hockey Club celebrate the 35th anniversary of its partnership with Gau Algesheim Hockey Club in Germany. And to mark the anniversary, a party of 35 from Gau Algesheim is in town for five days of hockey and other celebrations. Th

This Easter sees Stevenage Hockey Club celebrate the 35th anniversary of its partnership with Gau Algesheim Hockey Club in Germany.

And to mark the anniversary, a party of 35 from Gau Algesheim is in town for five days of hockey and other celebrations.

The partnership originated in 1972 when a group from the local hockey club were part of a trip to Stevenage's twin town of Ingleheim.

Although Ingleheim did not have a hockey team, their neighbours at Gau Algesheim did and so the close link between the two clubs was established.

Every two years a club trip is made from England to Germany or vice versa and the relationship has been further enhanced by regular visits to Gau Algesheim's October Winefest.

Last April, a party from Gau Algesheim joined Stevenage Hockey Club to celebrate its 60th anniversary and its president, Diethard Grundl, was appointed an honorary life member.

Most Read

The highlights of this Easter's visit includes a hockey match between the two clubs at Nobel School's artificial pitch tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 2.30pm.

There is also a five-team tournament on grass on Easter Monday (11am-4pm), a trip to Cambridge, a reception and buffet hosted by town mayor Simon Speller (a regular player for Stevenage), and a farewell party at the hockey club on Easter Monday with music from the club's own band, 'Kicking Back'.

Stevenage's president, Phil Hutchinson, said: "The link between Stevenage and Gau Algesheim hockey clubs has grown stronger and stronger over the years and we are delighted that our guests are coming in force to celebrate the 35th anniversary.

"Their party includes many younger players and, with Stevenage's commitment to the development of junior hockey, this bodes well for the future of our partnership."

P Letchworth Ladies reserved their best performance of the East Premier League season for their final game.

They pulled off a thrilling and richly deserved 2-1 away victory over Canterbury seconds.

Aware that anything less than a point might still draw Letchworth into the relegation zone in a tight league, Letchworth dominated the game from the start.

A Justine Lucas strike from a penalty corner after 18 minutes gave Letchworth the lead but the home side equalised just three minutes later.

Although the home defence struggled to cope with Letchworth's pace and aggression, it looked as if the sides would go in all square.

Then, from a Letchworth corner, Lucas picked up the ball and calmly drew the keeper before slotting home on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half, although goalkeeper Georgie Bingham was drawn into one excellent save from a rare Canterbury breakaway, it was the visitors who again dominated the play and always looked more likely to score.

In the end, neither team found the net leaving Letchworth to take the points and finish a creditable sixth in the league in a season in which coach Pat Lardner was rarely able to field a full squad through long-term injuries.

A disappointing end to an otherwise positive season for Stevenage Ladies saw them suffer a run of close defeats. The final one was 2-1 to a struggling BBHC side.

In the first half, Stevenage controlled the play and possession but a counter attack allowed BBHC to force a scrappy goal to take the lead into half time.

Stevenage equalised early in the second half when Lucy Harvey picked up on a great ball into the D from captain Carly Seaton to smash the ball past the keeper.

Midway through the half, some confusion between the umpires saw a decision overturned to Stevenage's disadvantage.

BBHC took the hit quickly with Stevenage set up for attack and were awarded a short corner further up the field. This corner was converted and BBHC took an undeserved lead.

The ladies found themselves pushed back further into their own half late on, preventing the opportunity to equalise.

Stevenage finished out of the relegation zone but in ninth place in the East League Division Two South.

Other scores: Stevenage Ladies IV 0 St Neots IV 1, Stevenage Ladies V 0 Blueharts 2.

Blueharts put out a Wanderers side, which comprised a few older players and some of the club's youngsters, in a 2-0 friendly win over Stevenage fifths.

Scoreless at the break, the second half saw the Wanderers play with a lot more confidence.

A fine cross into the D from Jay Livermore was put away by Gina Joseph and Livermore went on to make the score 2-0 herself.

Player of the match Lauren Vessey, who was making her debut, worked tirelessly in midfield and proved herself to be a key player with her slick stick work.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter