THURROCK 3 v 0 CLACTON
Thurrock’s first eleven knew that the penultimate match of the season was an important one. Just one point would clinch the NE14HOCKEY Division SE3 league title and see them promoted.
Thurrock started nervously against a physical Clacton side who started playing the better hockey but were held back by strong defending from Tommy Ing, Andy Sargeant, Luke Danbrook and man of the match Jordan Salmon.
Goalkeeper Andy Gaut dealt with any attack with a couple of fine saves. After 20 minutes Thurrock’s Christian Jenkins broke the deadlock with an individual piece of skill which saw him score the first goal. The first half ended 1-0 to Thurrock.
After a half time talk by captain Steve Abbott Thurrock came out motivated and determined. Good team passing from Matt Gaut and Matthew Leaver enabled Steve Abbott to score Thurrock’s second goal settling any nerves the team previously had.
Tees continued to play convincingly with some great play midfield from Nicky Stapleton and Andre Rudder managing to consolidate the lead with a third goal from Christian Jenkins 10 minutes from full time.
Thurrock are now promoted to Division 2 South for the first time in nearly 30 years. Coach Andre Rudder said “Steve Abbott has been an excellent captain bringing the best out of his team. It has been a fantastic year for Thurrock Men’s hockey with both the Firsts and Seconds being crowned champions.
Numbers have been up and a young third eleven team have found their way in Division 8 with a new fourth team playing friendlies.
We are now on the lookout for next season’s players to strengthen the club throughout. Anyone interested should contact the club via the website www.thurrockhockey.com”.
On Saturday the Firsts are away to Upminster II at 1 pm