Hockey men bow out of national cup at semi-final stage


WARRINGTON Hockey Men’s 1st team bowed out of the England Hockey National Cup at the semi-final stage following a 2-0 defeat away at Hailsham.

The club demonstrated fantastic commitment by taking 13 players down to the South Coast, as well as spectators, in a spirited attempt to make the final and were unlucky to come up short.
Due to the occasion, the team understandably started somewhat tentatively under the scorching southern sun and allowed the hosts, who have been unbeaten all season, to take control of the game.
Tom Lloyd in the Warrington goal soon found himself very busy and made some excellent saves before Hailsham took the lead from a well-worked short corner. Warrington rallied and started to make moves forward of their own; aerials from Richard Cook, Laurence Ankers, and Simon Mason caused problems for the Hailsham defence and allowed the hardworking Sam Pinion, Carl Fairhurst and Richard Bee to carve out half chances.
Hailsham doubled their lead midway through the first half. Their tricky playmaker dribbled through the defence and dug out a shot which took a deflection off another attacker, and Lloyd before squirming past Alan Livingstone on the line who was desperately trying to keep it out.

Warrington regrouped and tested the Hailsham goalkeeper as the half wore on, Rob Powell’s snapshot was pushed away before a deflection from Livingstone was parried around the post.
After an uplifting halftime team talk, Warrington set about making a comeback in the second half and looked to make their hosts battle for the result. Andrew Gould provided a man-of-the-match performance to stifle their star striker with an expert man-marking job whilst Nick Bottomley took
control in midfield, and Andy Powell started making key passes out of defence and down the right wing.
Chances came and went for Warrington; Harvey Mason was very unlucky to be denied by an excellent save as he bore down on goal whilst Gould deflected a cross just wide at the far post.
Warrington continued to push and despite numerous short corners were unable to get on the scoresheet – in no small part due to great goalkeeping and defending from Hailsham.
With the game ending 2-0, Warrington were understandably disappointed to miss out on the final but can be extremely proud of their efforts representing the club, the town and the North-West in an excellent and sporting manner. Having made the final four of a tournament entered by 160 teams the goal will be to make the final in 2025


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