Blueharts Hockey Club Mens 1st team got their East Premier B League Campaign off to a strong start with 2 wins in the opening weekend of league fixtures, beating St Albans 3-0 and Ipswich East Suffolk 4-0.
Thanks to a huge amount of work from England Hockey and the Blueharts COVID-19 team, Blueharts Hockey Club hosted a full weekend of league matches and junior hockey, under strict COVID-19 procedures to ensure everyone involved was kept safe.
The Men’s 1s hosted St Albans 2s on Saturday afternoon and dominated the game with a first half goal from Oli Hammond. Despite creating lots of chances, St Albans defended well and their goalkeeper made several excellent saves, keeping the score close at half time. In the second half, the home team’s fitness and possession paid off with a great team move that was started by man of the match Simon Leeson and finished well by Harry Woods. A third killed the game off when the ball fell to a seated Richard Julian in the D who found the back of the net and 3 points for the home team.
Sunday’s fixture saw Ipswich and East Suffolk travel to Lucas Lane and Blueharts started brightly with lots of possession and energy on the ball. Early goals were converted by Harvey Walton Adams and Harry Sampson but Blueharts were guilty of taking their foot off the gas and letting the visitors get back into the game towards the break. Thanks to some excellent saves from goalkeeper Matt Huitchinson and some superb defensive work from newly appointed Vice Captain Tom Russell, who at just 17 delivered a man of the match performance of maturity and confidence. Blueharts were able to reassert their dominance in the second half and despite missing several chances, were able to convert a penalty corner from Graham Burr’s drag flick and a scrambled penalty corner that was tapped over the line by Michael Williams.
Captain Richard Julian:
“I’m obviously delighted with the result but, to be honest, I’m just glad that we are able to be back playing the sport we love in the current situation. A huge thank you to all of the Blueharts volunteers who have done the paperwork, created protocols, communicated to members and helped with everything to make Lucas Lane a safe environment for us to enjoy our hockey. It’s a huge achievement and we are lucky as players to be benefiting from all of their hard work. For us, scoring 7 goals and conceding none is a great start to the season but we have high standards and still have lots to improve on, especially our discipline and converting our chances. We should have scored many more this weekend and will face tougher tests to come, especially Broxbourne away next weekend. But we’ve got a great group of players and so our sights are set firmly on promotion this season.”