BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club men’s teams closed out the league season with a trio of wins, writes IAN WATSON.
The second team led the charge with a confident 5-2 victory over visiting Havant. The game mirrored the squad’s season, as they started strongly, had a lapse in the middle, before finishing well.
The hosts opened the scoring with two quick goals from Phil Stewart and Paul Handley, but it soon became 2-2.
A second goal for Handley put the home side ahead, and Stewart followed suit to widen the gap. Stewart made sure of the win with his hat-trick goal as he got the final touch on a goal-bound ricochet.
The victory saw the team finish a creditable fourth in Hampshire Division Two. Captain Craig Eales was pleased with the result and said: “It has been an attritional season, but I’m proud of the work put in by the players, especially the lads who made it to the end.”
The men’s fourth team also put together a confident win, coming out 5-0 victors at home against Wimbourne Wayfarers.
The home side opened the scoring after 15 minutes, with a perfect example of a back post sweep from Pete Wood. From this point, Basingstoke always looked like they were going to win and netted twice more before half-time, courtesy of Dan Holding and Stuart Coleshill.
The second-half continued much like the first and Basingstoke scored another brace. Calum Saint netted a superb short corner strike in the bottom corner, before Holding got his second.
Captain Andy Footman was full of praise for his team and said: “After finishing eighth in the league last season, to finish fourth and being only three points away from second place is a great result.”
The first team, having already been crowned league champions, added a third victory to the day’s successes, winning 1-0 over Sunbury and Walton Hawks. In the ladies’ section, the fourth team enjoyed a well-earned 3-2 win at home against Southampton University to finish third in Hampshire Division Six.
Trish Flynn scored the first goal of the match, supported by defender Emma May. A second goal soon followed, as Kirsty Novis pushed forward to feed the ball expertly into Katie Smith who delivered a spectacular aerial goal.
After the break, the visitors levelled things, but the ladies showed great spirit and were rewarded with the winning goal 15 minutes from time as Lynda Day scored.
The ladies’ fifths went down 2-1 against Aldershot and Farnham, but will be pleased to have finished fifth in their debut year in Hampshire Division Six.