Basingstoke Hockey Club masters claim league title

Sarah Mainprise lets fly from the edge of the area.

Sarah Mainprise lets fly from the edge of the area.

First published in Sport

BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club’s ladies’ masters were crowned league champions after a 4-0 victory at Teddington last Sunday.

The ladies needed just a draw from their final game to take the league title, but took nothing for granted against solid opposition.

After a shaky start, Basinstoke took the lead through Jenny Rust as she deflected in Sarah Mainprise’s short-corner strike.

Soon after, Mainprise got on the scoresheet herself again from a short corner.

A third penalty-corner made it 3-0 as Bernice Gunn wrong-footed the goalkeeper.

Despite trailing by three goals, the home side kept the visiting defence on their toes, but a sterling performance from Dawn Nibblets kept their clean sheet.

It was left to Caroline Sutton to complete the 4-0 win after a goal-mouth scramble.

This caps off an excellent season for the ladies and goalscorer Mainprise was recently selected for the England Over-50s squad.

After playing in the southern team, Mainprise worked her way through two selection weekends.

The first involved 150 ladies in November and there was also a second stage in February, before the Basingstoke player was picked for the national side.

Mainprise is now looking forward to a series of warm-up games, before the all-important World Cup in Rotterdam in June.

Defending champions England will face Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands and USA.

Mainprise was delighted to be selected, and said: “I am a huge believer that age should never stop anyone from achieving anything, as long as you keep yourself fit and healthy.”

Last Saturday, the ladies’ second team travelled to Southampton for the Hampshire Cup semi-final.

Both sides struggled to break the deadlock, with a cross-bar ricochet from Cath MacCormick the closest anyone came as the game finished 0-0.

Despite a spirited performance, Basingstoke were beaten 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out.

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