East Grinstead’s women were the first to secure silverware, comprehensively seeing off Buckingham 10-2 in the final. And then their male compatriots followed suit for their 14th indoor title, beating Surbiton 3-1 in a shootout following a pulsating 3-3 draw.
The first game of the day saw Buckingham overcome Bowdon Hightown 1-0 in a shootout after a 2-2 draw, starting the day’s play in fine style. East Grinstead were then made to work hard for a place in the final, narrowly overcoming Slough 2-1 in a hard-fought encounter. Into the final, E.G. very much turned on the style, and at 5-0 up at half time the result never looked in doubt. Buckingham deservedly got on the scoresheet after the interval, and it ended 10-2 with player of the match Sophie Bray registering four goals, and three for Ellie Rayer.
East Grinstead’s Elsie Nix said, “It feels amazing to get the win! I think the semi final was really tough against Slough, and Buckingham are a good team, but we just kept playing our game. It’s always good to score in a final and it means so much. I really didn’t expect the game to go like that, when we went 5-0 up I thought I must have been dreaming.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of so many people before, people were shouting and screaming wanting you to win which was just amazing, I love this competition and I’m really proud to have won.”
From the very off it was goals aplenty in the men’s event, East Grinstead getting the better of Hampstead & Westminster 7-5 in a thriller with 11 different goalscorers. Then Surbiton and Sevenoaks produced another cracker, ‘Oaks winning 7-4 as ten different players found the net. The final was a slightly tighter affair, but still saw six goals, including two in the final five minutes. Then into the shootout it was left to Ashley Jackson to seal victory, and he fired home with great aplomb to ensure both cups went back to his club and further strengthen their reputation as indoor specialists.
East Grinstead’s Simon Faulkner said, “It’s a brilliant result, having never led in the game it was always going to be tough, but we fought and fought until it went to a shootout and after scoring the first two we really started to believe.
“We’ve got this winning record out of hard work and commitment. East Grinstead love indoor hockey, we commit so much time and effort into it, there are so many people behind the scenes at the Club who give so much support and it keeps bringing success.”