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Leek Junior Hockey - Staffordshire In2Hockey Tournament

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 02, 2014

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LEEK Hockey Club entered teams in all five age groups of the Staffordshire In2Hockey tournament for the first time, with 40 players in all taking part.

The club came away as under-12 boys winners and runner-up in the boys' under-10 competition.

The result of both age groups came down to the final games against local neighbours North Stafford.

The teams entered their final games with North Stafford having four victories and Leek three wins and a draw.

The under-12s went first and an early goal put them in the driving seat. Some dogged defending resulted but Leek held on to secure the title.

The under-10s, facing the same situation, came up against a well-drilled North Stafford team and eventually this greater experience resulted in a goal.

Leek pushed for an equaliser but North Stafford broke to double their lead and take the title.

Leek also entered teams in the under-12 girls, under-10 girls and under-8 mixed tournaments. All teams battled hard and scored some great goals.

Men's Hockey

Leek Badgers 3 Lichfield A 6

LEEK were slow to start and when the half-time whistle came, the home side were losing 5-0.

After the half -time debrief, the Badgers came out a different side and put the visitors under constant pressure, forcing the Lichfield keeper to make a number of key saves.

Leek netted three goals through Joel Hine, Will Midwinter and Ollie Astle in quick succession, but unfortunately they ran out of time.

Leek 6XI 5 Cannock 7XI 1

BOTH teams fielded a blend of youth and experience for this title decider which led to a fast-paced, skilful game punctuated with the occasional robust tackle.

End-to-end play ensued, with Adam Knott making some important saves before Jas Sokail opened the scoring for Leek, following some good work by Callum Bell. Leek were then in the ascendancy, with Paul Houston dominating the midfield, and it wasn't long before Elliott Hammond calmly slotted the ball past the despairing Cannock keeper.

A few minutes later, Andy Spragg scored one of his trademark penalty corners, and it was beginning to look like an easy Leek victory.

But Cannock would not lie down and forced home a penalty corner of their own just before half-time, making the score 3-1.

The Leek youngsters took control in the second half, with Joe Knott and Tom Hatcher dominating the midfield. Several good chances were squandered before a Jas Sokail cross was deflected by a Cannock defender into his own goal.

The scoring finished with a calmly-taken Paul Houston goal.

Leek sixths have had an outstanding season, with their youngsters playing fast, free-flowing hockey and the more experienced players providing support when needed.

They have been led superbly by Andy Spragg, who has decided that after 25 years of playing hockey, this will be his final season as a full-time player. Spragg's enthusiasm, encouragement and goals will be missed in equal measure

Leek 5XI 3 Boots 4XI 2

LEEK capped an enjoyable and successful season with a hard-fought victory after a superb second-half performance.

The first period saw Leek struggling to find some fluency in their game, and Boots took the lead midway through the half.

Within minutes of the second half, though, Leek were level when Jules Brooks powered home from close range.

Moments later, the Moorlanders went ahead as Andy Lowe converted from the penalty spot.

A well-worked corner routine saw Andy Critchlow nutmeg the goalkeeper from an acute angle.

Boots reduced the arrears after a good passing move and finish, but Leek worked hard for the last five minutes to secure the points, and fourth place in a very competitive league.

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