It may only be a pre-season tournament but when there is a trophy or in this case a shield for the winners, teams enter with one thing on their mind, a 1st place finish.
It was no different at Stoneham lane home of local hockey side Trojans hockey club on Saturday 6th September as 4 teams battled to be named champions of this year’s Liam Keeling shield.
The tournament was made up of 4 teams, Trojans along with Salisbury from Hants/Surrey 2 facing the challenge of Yateley and Old Cranleighans from Hants/Surrey 1.
The two teams from the lower division would prove to be the better sides on the day finishing in 1st and 2nd place.
The opening game of the day saw Trojans and Salisbury play out a 0-0 draw and although Salisbury had the clearer chances Trojans dominated possession in a fairly even contest. This game will be one to look out for when the season starts in late September.
Due to the delayed arrival of OC’s Trojans in a changed strip had to play again where they faced the agricultural hockey of Yateley playing in red. Trojans kept possession limiting Yateley to limited touches of the ball.
Yateley applied pressure for much of the first half however the high intensity game they were trying to play soon ran out
of steam and the pace of play slowed.
Yateley were here to win, this was clear by the way they tackled.
The game boiled over when up and coming drag flick sensation Ed Jeffery won the
ball from the Yateley number 7. The Yateley player reacted to the tackle standing up and attempting to push Ed over however Ian Basset and James Sordillo were on hand to remove the player from Ed and diffuse the situation.
The umpires again handled the situation well and eventually gave a yellow card to the Yateley player although had it been a league game you question whether the colour of the card might have matched the Yateley shirts.
With the Yateley number 7 off the pitch for the reminder of the game Trojans took control and got a winner through former Southampton Hockey Club player Tim Slade who joins Trojans for the 2012/2013 season.
OC’s travelled with a mixture of 1st and 2nd team players which would see them lose to Salisbury and Yateley in the afternoon’s games however this does not truly reflect their 4th place finish in the league last season.
The final game of the day came down to Trojans vs OC’s.
A Trojans win would see them crowned champions and leave Salisbury in 2nd place after they put an end to the challenge of OC’s and Yateley beating them both comfortably earlier in the day.
Trojans struggled to take control of the game however it finished 1-0 to T’s who walked away with the Liam keeling shield for the 2nd time.
For more information regarding Liam Keeling champions Trojans hockey club please visit www.trojanshockey.co.uk