Hockey: Wilmslow celebrates its most successful season

ladies 4th

On Saturday the tangerines played their last batch of league games. Seven teams had matches: seven teams won. In the process records tumbled, championships were won and promotions sealed.

Four teams have finished champions; the Ladies 2nds play on Tuesday night and could make that five.
Four teams are definitely promoted and, with play-offs, that could go up to six.The Mens 4ths scored a new club record of 139 goals in 20 games

Attendance at the club dinner at the end of the season is always an incentive in the last games and so everyone turned up with smiles on their faces.

Wilmslow Ladies 1sts 7 Manchester University 1st 0

Having been declared champions last week a rampant 1st were looking to finish the season unbeaten. They did this in style by tearing into the shell-shocked students. LIndsay Rachubka opened the scoring with a fine solo goal following a dribble. Next came a well worked goal from a set piece with four touches in the circle before Maddy Troup tapped in.

Troup was also involved in setting up Rachubka for her second and the team's third goal. Helen Senior had been a feisty presence up front and was rewarded with the fourth goal. Just before half time Emilie Kelman added a fifth.

In the second half Wilmslow eased up ever so slightly and had a bit of a wait before the sixth goal but it was justly deserved for the ever industrious Charlie Platts. From the edge of the circle Rachubka struck a hard shot which Platts swept in at the far post.

The final goal was the pick of the bunch. In a crowded dee Hannah Coulson found a small opening in the top left had corner of the goal to make it seven.

Wilmslow Ladies 3rds left their promotion charge a little late in the season but a good 3-2 win against Timperley 4th saw them finish in creditable 4th position.

Ladies 4th have had their best season to date and finished in great fashion by beating top team Deeside Ramblers 4th 2-1 away, to guarantee promotion.

Harrogate Mens 1st 3 Wilmslow Mens 1st 4

This was a typical of many see-saw matches this year where the result could go either way. Wilmslow started off well and Ric Pheiffer opened the scoring. Harrogate then pressed and by half time they were 2-1 up. Then in the second half came a period of Wilmslow dominance and David Boddy scored twice. Back came Harrogate to level the scores at 3-3.

With not many minutes left the tangerines found reserves of energy and Andy Hunt capped a fine season to score the decisive goal. The final few minutes were a blur of desperate defending but Wilmslow scooped the points to give them a respectable mid table finish in their first season at this level. Coach Rob Turner's youth policy certainly paid dividends with teenagers Cameron Armstrong and Tom Davenport being voted players of the season by their team mates.

The Mens 2nd had already been crowned champions but the 3rds had to negotiate a tricky late afternoon away game against Keele University 1sts. Despite going a goal down they finally won 2-1 with the decisive goal coming from veteran Dave Welsh. For the second successive year they are promoted as champions.

The 4ths had battled with Brooklands all season and started the day in second place but a fine 4-0 win against the lillywhites saw them crowned as champions. Many contributed to the amazing goal difference of +120 but top of the pack was Wyn Livesly who was club leader goalscorer with 35 goals.

Last season was Wilmslow's all round best season to date. No one would have predicted that the club would exceed that this year but it is a tribute to the coaches, youth development and attitude of the players.

Match report by Steve Kinsella.

Hockey, Wilmslow Hockey Club