HOCKEY: Spalding’s six of the best book national quarter final spot

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Spalding Hockey Club’s top men’s team roared into the quarter finals of the England Hockey National Vase competition with a 6-1 success at Ramgarhia on Sunday.

They started the Derby clash well and were a goal up from their first penalty corner, which was finished off by Josh Rowbottom.

This calmed the nerves of both the players and travelling supporters and Spalding settled into their usual passing style, constantly pinning Ramgharia back in the process.

It was 2-0 on ten minutes when good work by Callum Clarke down the right resulted in Glenn Perkins finishing from close range.

Spalding then made it 3-0 two minutes later when top scorer Stuart Cunnington went on a run past several players before finishing well on his reverse.

With Rowbottom and Rob Dalton controlling the play in midfield, the visitors were well on top before the latter was hit in the face by a stick and had to be taken to hospital.

Although they were forced to reshuffle, it didn’t affect Spalding as they added a fourth following another mazy dribble by Cunnington.

He produced an audacious one-handed reverse stick cross for Mike Morris to finish from very close range.

Not done there, Morris then added his second of the game – and Spalding’s fifth with a fine flick into the corner of the goal, again from close in.

The away side struggled to get going in the second half, knowing that the game was well won already.

They expertly retained possession and passed the ball at will, although Ramgharia tried a more physical approach to try and disrupt their play.

Spalding retained their discipline and continued to play – albeit at a leisurely pace –and went 6-0 up with Russ Watts finishing off a well-worked penalty corner routine.

With Perkins, Cunnington and Morris sitting out large portions of the second period, Spalding resorted to their surprise attacking machine Sam Howitt.

Playing with a smile on his face, Howitt often ventured into the unknown territory of the home D without ever really looking a goal threat.

Hosts Ramgharia pulled a consolation goal back from a penalty corner in the closing minutes, but it failed to take the gloss off Spalding’s fine team display.

The Glen Park club now progress through to the quarter finals, where they will host Phoenix & Ranelagh from Reading on March 2 (2pm).