FIVE primary schools battled it out for supremacy at an action-packed tournament at Spalding Hockey Club on Friday.
The persistent rain could not dampen the spirits of the youngsters who took part in the Tonic Health sponsored finals at Glen Park, which was eventually won by Moulton John Harrox.
Pinchbeck East and Spalding St Johns schools, who had qualified at a tournament along with Harrox in February, were joined by Surfleet Seas End and Wyberton for a round robin competition at the Surfleet all-weather pitch.
Favourites John Harrox started well with wins over Surfleet (4-0) and Wyberton (1-0), but were held to a goalless draw by a determined St Johns team that defended solidly.
Pinchbeck East also fancied their chances and looked very impressive in their victories over St Johns (1-0) and Surfleet (4-0), but in their third game they were held to a 1-1 draw by a Wyberton team that improved dramatically through the tournament.
That meant John Harrox and Pinchbeck East both had seven points and a similar goal difference as they came head to head in the final game. In a high quality game, both sides came close to scoring in a competitive but goalless first half. In a fast and furious second period, there were goal scrambles at both ends – but a well-taken goal just two minutes from the end gave Moulton the lead, which they clung on to for a 1-0 win and overall tournament victory.
The talented Pinchbeck East team had to settle for second place, with St Johns pipping Surfleet for the bronze medal place in an extremely enjoyable contest.
Spalding Hockey Club’s Chairman Fred Morris presented the captain of the John Harrox team, Luke Barkworth, with the trophy and medals for the squad.
Experienced senior league umpires, Bill Watt, Matthew Pilgrim, Paul Watts, Russell Watts and Daniel Barkworth, who had officiated throughout the tournament, selected Frazer Watt (Pinchbeck East) and Seth Grieves (Surfleet) for outstanding skill and determination during the event.
The young players present were invited to join those who already attend Spalding Hockey Club’s junior coaching sessions, which are held at Glen Park on Saturday mornings (9.30am-11am) and will continue until the end of May.
• Spalding Hockey Club will continue to run eight senior league teams next season after holding their annual meeting.
The five men’s teams and the Poachers 1st side will be in the East Leagues, with the other two ladies’ teams staying in the Cambridgeshire Leagues.
Combined with a strong junior section that fields mixed teams in the Lincolnshire Leagues at under-12 and under-14 age levels, there is the opportunity for all members to progress.
Sally Pilgrim will once again lead the ladies’ 1st team, with assistance from last season’s top scorer Karen Timby. Alison Harrison-Wild and Charlotte Morris will take charge of the Poachers’ 2nd team, with Karen Barkworth continuing as the ladies’ 3rd team skipper.
On the men’s side of things, Matt Sanders and Mark Smith-Hughes continue as captains of the 1st and 2nd teams respectively.
Leading scorer and experienced campaigner Shaun Dewing steps up as 3rd team captain, with Matthew Thorley and Adrian Bettinson to carry on as 4th and 5th team captains.
• There’s plenty of hockey going on over the summer at Spalding.
Adult beginners hockey will take place Friday evenings at Glen Park (6pm-7pm). These sessions are for complete beginners through to those who have not played since school or university days.
Junior coaching is held on Saturday mornings (9.30am-11am) for boys and girls aged seven to 13. Sessions will run through to 26th May.
The popular ‘Summer Sixes’ – for all league players – will commence on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from June onwards.
For more information on any of the above visit www.spaldinghockeyclub.co.uk or contact Fred Morris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01775 724832.