BASINGSTOKE Hockey Club’s annual Mixed Hockey Festival was another roaring success as 24 teams descended on Down Grange.
After a full day of hockey on Saturday, Sunday saw the final round of games, with Basing-stoke teams Tour*Ons and Simply Irresistible making the semi-finals.
The latter succeeded in a winning a final place after a novel penalty stroke competition, Ben Blackmore netting the winner from the halfway line.
The final was a tense affair, with The Dreamers from Salisbury finally prevailing.
The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Roger Gardiner, presided over the closing ceremony to present the Dreamers with their trophy, along with the fancy dress award to winners Randomoto Factashima.
The prestigious Team of the Tournament award, for embracing the spirit of the festival, was won by Wapping HC.
“Basingstoke is by far the best tournament I’ve been too,” said Jenna Plank of Dreamers and Chasers from Salisbury. “The food is great, the entertainment is brilliant and there’s a good standard of hockey with teams playing in the right spirit. We had the best weekend and can’t wait until next year.”
Festival director Ruth Crawford said: “We welcomed 17 teams when we re-launched the festival in 2012 and this year we sold out with 24 teams by the end of March.
“It was definitely the biggest and best year yet.”
Event manager Becky Donaldson said: “As well as providing an amazing weekend for the teams, our army of club members form the event crew and gave their time for free.
“So it is a huge thanks to the pink event crew and our supporters The Stick Club, Kabo Hockey, Back to Action, Appelcado, Towers Restaurant, Basingstoke Camera Club and Campbell Print – as well as the teams themselves of course, who make it what it is.”
If you’re interested in joining Basingstoke Hockey Club, this is the ideal time to get involved, with adult pre-season training starting on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Down Grange, while youth training from under eights upwards re-commences soon.