Duchy hockey team claims league title
2:00pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Sport
Hat-tricks for Simon Rafferty, Chris Price and Neil Chamberlain meant that Duchy mens 2nd XI hockey team left nothing to chance, sweeping Plympton Grammar School Old Boys aside in a 12-1 landslide to claim the South West Division 2 title with five weeks to go, writes Nigel Barker.
In their first full league Duchy had only lost one match previously and knew that 3 points would guarantee their status as champions.
Plagued by injuries post Christmas, Duchy once again fielded an unsettled side, with Guy Bennetts taking up position as keeper for only the second time this season.
Duchy started nervously and after only 5 minutes conceded a penalty stroke that gave PGSOB an early lead.
Dave Stevens found himself in the sin bin and Captain Chris Pound re-grouped his players.
The Cornish men then came back all guns blazing with goals from Simon Rafferty and Chris Price in quick succession giving them control of the game.
Nigel Barker had a penalty stroke saved, but more fine attacking play forced errors from the Plymouth side which Duchy monopolised upon.
From this point on it was one-way traffic.
Wayne Spargo picked up one from well worked penalty corners, Neil Chamberlain bagged three, including a penalty stroke and new signing Chris Price added a further two to his tally as did Simon Rafferty.
A solo goal from Barker laid to rest his penalty demons from earlier in the match, cooly chipping the keeper.
Duchy A Captain Chris Pound said: “There is only one way to describe the way I feel now: proud!
“It’s not been the easiest season despite the victories we have had. We have been plagued by injuries and many players have been playing out of position. We have stuck to it though and played fast dynamic passing hockey which has really paid off.
“We knew we had a job to do, to get out of this league and we’ve only gone and done it with 5 weeks of the season remaining. It’s not over though, now I just want to finish the season by not dropping any points!”
Duchy Men’s A will now move up to South West Division 1 from September.
Anyone interested in joining Duchy Hockey Club should visit the website http://www.duchyhockeyclub.com.