HOCKEY: Record crowd toast Spalding season

Golden girl: Karen Timby was named 1st team player of the year and finished as top scorer for Spalding Poachers, while (below) Matthew Pilgrim (left) picked up the Clubman award. Michael Morris presented the awards. Photos supplied
Golden girl: Karen Timby was named 1st team player of the year and finished as top scorer for Spalding Poachers, while (below) Matthew Pilgrim (left) picked up the Clubman award. Michael Morris presented the awards. Photos supplied

AWARDS were dished out as Spalding Hockey Club celebrated another successful season with a South Holland Centre bash on Friday night.

A record 157 members and guests attended the club’s annual dinner and presentation evening, which began with a minute’s applause for the late Paul Howden, who passed away in January.

Top man: Spalding's Matthew Pilgrim (left) picks up his Clubman award from the club's head of the playing committee Michael Morris. Photo supplied

Top man: Spalding's Matthew Pilgrim (left) picks up his Clubman award from the club's head of the playing committee Michael Morris. Photo supplied

Among the trophies awarded were Matthew Pilgrim, who was named Clubman of the year, and lethal duo Shaun Dewing and Karen Timby, who topped the scoring charts at Glen Park this season.

Tim Maltby and Tamika Providence also landed the most improved player awards in their respective sections, while Danny Shardlow was honoured as the men’s 1st team player of the year. For the Poachers, hot-shot Timby picked up the gong for the 1st team’s player of the season.

It was an extremely successful season for all the three of the ladies’ sides, something recognised on the night.

The Poachers’ 1st team won both the Cambs Premier League and the Lincolnshire county title – and they hope to make it a unique treble when they play Newmarket in the Cambs Premier Cup final on Saturday.

Also performing well were the ladies’ 2nd and 3rd teams, who finished second and third in the Cambs Leagues One and Two respectively.

Not to be outdone, the girls’ under-16 team won through to the Midlands finals and narrowly missed out on a place in the national finals on goal difference.

On the men’s side of things it was also an excellent campaign – let by the red-hot 1st team.

They hit a massive 129 goals in East League 3NW but still missed out on promotion by just one point.

The 2nd side finished in a creditable 5th place in 4NW, with the 3rd team just one point off promotion to join their 5NW league.

Meanwhile, the 4th and 5th development teams provided a good starting point for many of the club’s talented young players in 6NW (N) and the experience they gained will prove valuable in next season’s league programme.

Also on the night, a raffle organised by Clubman winner Pilgrim raised more than £1,000 – with the money going towards new dugouts and shelters at the Glen Park pitch in Surfleet.

Pilgrim is also running in the London Marathon for the first time on Sunday and took his sponsorship money for Cancer Research to over £3,000 during the evening.

2011/12 award winners at Spalding Hockey Club: Clubman – Matthew Pilgrim. Most improved player: Men – Tim Maltby; Ladies – Tamika Providence. Top scorers: Men – Shaun Dewing; Ladies – Karen Timby. Player of the season: Men’s teams – 1st team Danny Shardlow; 2nd team Rob Tilbrook; 3rd team Tom Bettinson; 4th team Harry Higgins; 5th team Harry Bettinson. Ladies’ teams – 1st team Karen Timby; 2nd team Leanne Pick; 3rd team Sam Maltby.