County Championships – B Division Finals

On Saturday 1st June Nottinghamshire found themselves back at the Nottingham Hockey Centre, looking to continue their unbeaten run in this year’s competition and gain promotion in to ‘A’ Division, the top-flight in County hockey.

Between them and a promotion place were the Isle of Man. These two sides have met several times over the last few years, the last meeting a gripping 5-5 draw in Bedford.

As the sun came out and with the temperature and humidity rising, Notts started strongly. Inside the first minute, Notts captain, Steve Batten, drove down the baseline towards goal and his pinpoint shot beat the Isle Of Man keeper, Will Margot, to put Notts 1-0 up. The game however remained in the balance and on 20 minutes the Isle of Man gained a penalty corner. Andy Whiting’s drag flick, hit the Notts post man and deflected wide. The umpires conferred and, deciding it was on target, awarded a penalty stroke. Whiting stepped up to calmly convert and the sides went into half time at 1-1.

Notts started the second half brightly, buoyed on by a great half time team-talk by new coach Matt Orridge. It obviously did the trick! On 40 minutes, after some sustained pressure, Notts won a penalty corner, cooly dispatched into the bottom left corner by Sam Dixon. Then, two goals in two minutes, the first an alternate penalty corner routine converted by Steve Batten and then a screamer from Notts left wing back, James Fisher, saw Notts go in to the final 16 minutes with a 4-1 advantage. Then came the comeback… An Isle of Man penalty corner led to a hugely disputed penalty stroke, converted again by Whiting and just a minute later the Isle of Man’s Jonny Callow scored a penalty corner to bring the Isle of Man within one with 12 minutes still to go. Some stout Notts defending held the Isle of Man at bay. Two minutes from time the Isle of Man swapped out their ‘keeper for an extra outfield player and then, as time ran out, the Isle of Man earned a penalty corner. Whiting’s drag flick, saved by Notts keeper Neill Slane, was then judged to have hit one of his own defenders, preventing a goal and yet another controversial penalty stroke was awarded. With the final action of the game, the Isle of Man’s Andy Whiting completed his hat-trick of penalty strokes to send the game into a penalty shootout.

After five strokes the score stood at 3-2 to Notts, but Notts ‘keeper, Neill Slane was getting closer to each of the Isle of Man flicks. He got a large part of the Isle of Man’s third but couldn’t keep it out. Notts then scored their fourth. Notts’ Slane finally got a full left glove to the Isle of Man’s fourth stroke and it was Notts’ James Fisher who ensured that Notts went into the final, and gained promotion, with a cool final stroke when the pressure was on.

In the other semi-final, Lancashire beat the Channel Islands 6-2 to set up a Nottinghamshire v Lancashire final.

With promotion already secured, and with the sun beating down, Notts were quick out of the gates yet again. Notts skipper, Steve Batten, again driving down the baseline saw his pull back across goal hit a Lancashire foot. The resulting penalty corner calmly dispatched low to the Lancashire ‘keeper’s right, by Sam Dixon, to put Notts 1-0 up inside 3 minutes. But Lancashire remained calm in their play and on 9 minutes scored from free play. On 20 minutes, during a superb smothering save by Notts no.2 ‘keeper Jason Ward, Ben Docherty was controversially adjudged to have deliberately impeded the Lancashire forward whilst clearing the rebound and a penalty stroke was awarded, but no personal penalty. With Notts losing their cool, Lancashire increased their lead just 2 minutes later. Notts regrouped and after a short team talk by captain Batten, regained their calmness and began to get themselves back in to the game, just as half-time arrived.

Within 5 minutes of the restart Notts had reduced the deficit to one, with another classic Sam Dixon penalty corner goal, before Lancashire regained their two-goal advantage through a penalty corner of their own. With Lancashire legs tiring, Notts were now applying all the pressure, limiting Lancashire to speculative long balls and deep aerials to relive the pressure on their defence. With 12 minutes to go, Notts young star, Jude Chapman, broke through the Lancashire defence and his quick thinking saw him create the necessary space to catch the Lancashire ‘keeper by surprise and slot the ball past him to bring Notts back within one. Could it be Notts turn for a comeback? Chapman then hit the post, the ball bouncing back onto a defender’s foot for a Notts penalty corner. The resulting Sam Dixon penalty corner was deflected by Chapman and his quick thinking saw him knock the rebound from the ‘keepers save back past him, only to see it agonisingly hit the post again. A reckless challenge from a Lancashire full-back was punished with a 2 minute green card, when almost all were expecting a 5, or even 10, minute yellow card. Notts pulled ‘keeper Ward with 5 minutes to go, but Lancashire’s experience in the dying minutes showed and they managed to hold out to win 4-3.

Overall this has been a great campaign for Notts. Our aim/long term plan was to make it to Finals day – we went one step further and gained promotion. The squad over the Preliminary tournament and Finals day was made up of 9 separate clubs, that brings about its own challenges, but with a sympathetic coach, guiding the squad to play to their strengths who knows what might happen next year when we take on the might of the ‘A’ Division counties!

Nottinghamshire 2019 Squad
Back row (L-R) Ben Docherty, Jason Ward, Alex Whitt, Steve Batten, Jack Howard, Ryan Day, Jude Chapman,
James Fisher, Henry Godkin, Matt Orridge (Coach), Gareth Parr (Manager)
Front row (L-R) Neill Slane, Max Sowter, Ken Gainsford, Alex Davies, Josh Dixon, Sam Dixon, Josh Singleton, Chris Powell, Ali Lewis, Manny Soar (Ass. Coach)
Not Present – Charlie Brook

Nottinghamshire Men’s County Squad Appearances

At the County Championships this weekend I was asked whether we kept track of match appearances.

The short answer was no… but I do have a list of everyone that has been part of a squad since we restarted the County side in 2012.

Enjoy!!

(P) = Promoted
(R) = Relegated

2012 – Nottingham (P) 2013 – Durham 2014 – Cheshire (R) 2015 – Swindon (P) 2016 – Woking 2017 – Nottingham 2018 – Bedford 2019 – Nottingham
(P)
Grand Total
Adam Innocent X X X X X X 6
Sam Dixon X X X X X X 6
David Ebbage X X X X X X 6
Josh Dixon X X X X X 5
Luke Davies X X X X X 5
Alex Davies X X X X X 5
Joshua Singleton X X X X 4
Charlie Brooke X X X X 4
Manny Soar X X X X 4
James Hewitt X X X X 4
Ryan Day X X X X 4
Chris Burton X X X X 4
Alistair Lewis X X X 3
Matt Orridge X X X 3
Adam Henfry X X X 3
Steve Dockrell X X X 3
Alex Whitt X X X 3
James Bateman X X X 3
Ben Docherty X X X 3
Ben Morris X X X 3
Craig Young X X X 3
Henry Godkin X X X 3
Martin Ebbage X X 2
Jason Ward X X 2
Neill Slane X X 2
Chris Beastall X X 2
Mark Northcott X X 2
Jude Chapman X X 2
James Wakeland X X 2
Lukasz Urbaniak X X 2
Oliver Matharu X X 2
Chris Powell X X 2
Clive Morris X X 2
Gareth Parr X X 2
Jack Howard X X 2
Tom Palframan X X 2
Mike Holmes X 1
Chris Portman X 1
Aaron Cambden X 1
Ken Gainsford X 1
Freddie Sail X 1
Kyle Farquarson X 1
Nathaniel Hammond X 1
James Fisher X 1
Phil Young X 1
Gareth Bland X 1
Ben Walton X 1
Ben Bradley X 1
Max Sowter X 1
Henry Baldwin X 1
Nathan Wakeland X 1
Mark Richardson X 1
Tom Campbell X 1
John Proctor X 1
Peter Hextall X 1
John Short X 1
Roy Greasby X 1
Matt Parker X 1
Josh Pettinger X 1
Matt Proctor X 1
Steven Batten X 1
Matt Seals X 1
Matt Smith X 1
Jon Madieros X 1
Josh Dent X 1
Grand Total 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 144

County Championships B Division – Nottingham Pool Report

We’d like to thank everyone that’s made it a memorable weekend!

The weekend opened with Hosts Nottinghamshire v. Cornwall.

Long periods of sustained pressure from the hosts along with some stout defending from Cornwall meant the game was scoreless, until Notts’ Jude Chapman forced a scrappy PC over the line just before half time. Cornwall responded early in the second half with an open play goal by Alfie Budge, capitalising on a rare Notts defensive error. Notts finally sealed a 2-1 victory in their opening game when Sam Dixon converted a PC with 5 minutes to go.

The second game of the day saw Wiltshire play Norfolk.

Another evenly balanced game. Norfolk started strongly and took an early lead through Guy Crooks form open play. Norfolk doubled their lead on 17 minutes through Vincent Pertorious. Just before half time Wiltshire’s Matt Janes pulled one back and gave Wiltshire some momentum going in to the break. Two goals around the hour mark, one each for Wiltshire’s Marc Brothers and Tom Morton completed the comeback for a 3-2 win.

The third game of the day saw far travelling Channel Islands take on the Hosts Nottinghamshire.

In what was billed to be the game of the weekend, the Channel Islands started strongly, after their epic journey the morning of the tournament, with a goal by Phil Cuming after just 6 minutes. It wasn’t until early in the second half that Notts’ Sam Dixon pulled the sides level from a Penalty Corner. The Channel Islands regained their lead just 9 minutes later through Sam Dunstan, following another rare Notts defensive error. But two goals in three minutes, Sam Dixon’s second PC conversion and a field goal from Notts’ captain Charlie Brook saw the hosts home 3-2.

The fourth game of the day say Cornwall v. Norfolk

Cornwall were eager to bounce back after their close defeat to the hosts, but two first half goals From Norfolk’s Vincent Pretorious and another two after the break from Norfolk captain Will Edwards and Lee Hoggett saw Norfolk 4-0 victors.

The final game of day one saw Wiltshire take on the Channel Islands

An early goal by the Channel Islands’ Bill Millar put Wiltshire on the back foot and the Channel Islands took advantage with further goals from Peter Millar and captain Tom Millar, before Wiltshire responded though an open play goal from Sam Creedy, however a second by the Channel Islands’ Tom Millar would restore the Channel Islands’ 3 goal advantage shortly before half time. Two more Channel Islands goals in the second half, by Michael James and Tom Millar completing his hat-trick, spurred Wiltshire into a spirited comeback late on, but goals by Paddy Gompels and Jack Gompels we not enough to halt the Channel Islands 6-3 win.

Sun and blue skies welcomed the teams on day 2 at the Nottingham Hockey Centre, a stark contrast to the dull and drizzly weather on day one.

Cornwall v Channel Islands

The Channel Islands again started strongly, two goals in the opening 11 minutes, from Sam Dunstan and Peter Millar saw them take a two-goal lead. Cornwall bounced back level through Jonny Heward and Michael James but a further two goals from Jamie Bolton and Tom Millar saw the Channel Islands regain their two-goal advantage at half time. A spirited fight back saw Cornwall get back within one when Martin Rowe converted a Penalty Corner, before the Channel Islands Sam Dunstan restored their 5-3 advantage at the final whistle.

The second game of Day two saw the hosts, Nottinghamshire, back in action, this time against Norfolk.

Both sides were evenly matched, and it was only a 17th minutes Penalty Stroke, after an accidental foot on the line, converted by Sam Dixon, that separated the sides at half time. After the break, Notts came out all gun firing, and three goals in 4 minutes, Sam Dixon completing his hat-trick and another by Chris Powell, put Norfolk on the defensive. Two further goals, from Notts’ Charlie brook and Jude Chapman would seal the victory 6-0.

Game 3 of day two saw Wiltshire take on Cornwall. A win was vital for Wiltshire in order to stay in the running for a final’s day qualification place.

However, it was Cornwall that started strongly, determined to make the long journey worthwhile, they took a two-goal lead through Martin Rowe and Mark Symons inside 11 minutes. Wiltshire pulled one back almost immediately through Ben Clarke and so it would stay until the 63rd minutes when Wiltshire equalised through Jack Gompels. A nervy last 7 minutes for Cornwall as Wiltshire piled on the pressure, but they held out for a 2-2 draw.

The penultimate game of the weekend saw Norfolk take on the Channel Islands. A win for Norfolk could see them Challenge the Channel Islands for a finals place.

The game was extremely tight. Very few errors made by either side and it took 30 minutes for the Channel Islands captain, Tom Millar, to break the deadlock. Norfolk looked for a response and threw everything forward, but a goal 8 minutes from time by Channel Islands’ Sam Dunstan sealed a 2-0 win and the mathematical possibility of finishing the group top, should Notts falter in the last game of the weekend.

And so to the final game of two cracking days of hockey, played both on and off the pitch in the greatest of competitive and social spirits, Wiltshire v hosts Nottinghamshire. With Nottinghamshire looking for their first 100% record for many years.

Notts started strongly and there was no reply possible by Wiltshire. Notts’ skipper, Charlie Brook, put them ahead on just 4 minutes, followed by Jude Chapman on 10. Sam Dixon converted a Penalty Corner on 19 minutes and Notts went into half time three-up. With tiredness setting in, Wiltshire had no reply to further goals from Chris Powell and Alex Davies and Jude Chapman completing a great personal weekend with his hat-trick and Notts running out 7-0 winners.

Final Table

Nottinghamshire P4, W4, D0, L0, GD+15, P12
Channel Islands P4, W3, D0, L1, GD+6, P9
Wiltshire P4, W1, D1, L2, GD-9, P4
Norfolk P4, W1, D0, L3, GD-5, P3
Cornwall P4, W0, D1, L3, GD-7, P1

Squad 2019
Nottinghamshire Squad 2019
Back Row – Matt Orridge (Coach), Jason Ward, Ryan Day, Henry Godkin, Jude Chapman, Alex Whitt, Neill Slane, James Fisher, Ali Lewis, Gareth Parr (Manager)
Front Row – Ben Docherty, Ken Gainsford, Alex Davies, Josh Singleton, Charlie Brook (Captain), Sam Dixon, Chris Powell, Josh Dixon, Manny Soar (ass. coach), Jack Howard

A New Coach for Nottinghamshire Hockey

Nottinghamshire Hockey Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Orridge as Head Coach for the Senior Men’s County Squad.

Matt is currently a coach at Belper Hockey Club and has been a part of the County setup for the last 6 years, firstly as a player and then as Assistant Coach last season.

Matt says;

“I feel I have the experience and drive to succeed in this role, I have been in and around the county set up for a few years and understand the needs of a tournament weekend.”

“I have a good relationship with players from previous squads and many players from clubs around Nottinghamshire. This I believe is vital when attracting players to the trials and keeping the tight bond that there has been in previous squads.”

“I was disappointed with the outcome from last years tournament and feel that I have learnt valuable lessons from this experience, both from working with the players and from what is needed for the tournament format.”

Good luck Matt!

Stay tuned for an announcement regarding the format of trials and training sessions for this year’s campaign

Nottinghamshire Hockey Association is a constituent body of Midlands Region Hockey Association Ltd. and endeavours to improve the standard of hockey within its County.

For further information please contact Gareth Parr (Secretary) via www.nottshockey.org.uk

NHA Recruiting – Senior Men’s County Coach

After 4 successful years in charge, Amo Soar is stepping down as Head Coach of the Men’s Senior Squad in order to focus on coaching the England O40s Masters, so NHA currently have a vacancy.

The Men’s senior County Squad is an important facet of our County Association – giving players (and technical staff) the possibility of participating at a higher level and outside the normal league competitions. Our aim has always been to have as diverse a spread of County clubs represented in the squad as possible.

Please spread the following information around your contacts.

Any prospective coach should be at least EH Level 2 qualified or aiming to become.

This is an ideal opportunity to raise your profile within the national hockey community and increase your experience in a higher tiered competition.

As well as coaching the squad through the County Championships competition, any prospective candidate will also be expected to deliver a number of trials and final squad coaching sessions.

They will be expected to have input into the structure of trials and squad coaching as well as providing input into the final squad selection along with the captain and other senior players.

Limited financial support can be provided on agreement.
Please respond, stating your interest, to the Nottinghamshire Hockey Association secretary, Gareth Parr via email – gareth@nottshockey.org.uk by 31st December 2018 with a brief copy of your hockey/coaching CV.

Interviews, if necessary, will take place during January 2019.

County Championships B Division Preliminary Tournament 2017

It was damp and dreary conditions that welcomed Nottinghamshire and Cornwall as they started off the 2017 B division pool hosted at the Nottingham Hockey Centre.

With the pitch proving quite slippery due to the weather and several players loosing their footing early on, it was Cornwall who started the better, and Ben Eddy put them ahead after only 4 minutes. Nottinghamshire gradually found their feet and, shortly after the break, Sam Dixon pulled them level with a trademark drag flick PC finish.

Chris Burton foils an early Cornwall PC

Cornwall replied and retook the lead when Josh Pearce finishing from free play, before Nottinghamshire completed the scoring when Charlie Brook deflected in from another well worked Nottinghamshire PC and the game ended 2-2.

The second game of the day saw Derbyshire, newly promoted from the C Division, take on Northumberland, a side relegated from A Division. Derbyshire stormed into the lead within the first minute when Chris Beastall finished nicely, before Northumberland got into their stride. Guy Draper doubled Derbyshire’s lead just 10 minutes later. Northumberland finally started to pull together and got a goal back, through Jonathan Stoddard, just before half-time. The second half was a cagey affair. Both side defended well and stifled any free flowing attacking play. Final score 2-1 to Derbyshire.

Ryan Day scores a thunderous reverse stick goal v. Herefordshire

Game 3 saw Herefordshire face Nottinghamshire. The sides have met several times before in the County Championships and the end result here was no different to their recent meetings. Eight goals, including a hat-trick from Nottinghamshire’s Ryan Day plus one a piece for Alex Davies, Manny Soar, Charlie Brook, David Ebbage and skipper Adam Innocent was more than enough to counter the Herefordshire goals by Andy Rogers, Stuart Goddarzi, Hary Ellis and Nicko Evans.

Game 4 saw Cornwall take on Northumberland. It was all evenly balanced before a rush of blood by Northumberland’s goalkeeper, Jordan Thompson, saw him take out a Cornwall forward illegally, give away a Penalty Stroke and receive a 10 minute yellow card on 12 minutes. This put Cornwall in control. Josh Pearce converted the stroke and, with Northumberland without a goalkeeper on the bench and forced into to playing with a ‘kicking back’, found themselves 3 down, with further goals from Dom Proctor and Cuthbert Sheppard. Northumberland did pull one back when Andrew Hayes converted a penalty corner, but Cornwall replied to regain their 3 goal lead through Sam Dunston before Thompson returned. Northumberland pulled to within two, right on the stroke of half time through Ritchie Brown and set up a nervous second half, especially when Chris Traynor scored for Northumberland to make to 4-3. A nervous 28 minutes later Cornwall were relieved to hear the final whistle with no further goals.

The final game of day 1 saw Derbyshire take on Herefordshire. Derbyshire were looking to finish the day on maximum points and Herefordshire were looking to consolidate after their earlier loss to the hosts. Herefordshire defended stoutly and it wasn’t until 33 minutes that Derbyshire finally broke them down when their skipper, Ashley Blakemore, converted from a penalty corner. The second half followed much the same vein and Herefordshire could provide no response to further goals by Derbyshire’s Joe Fell and Chris Beastall at the end of day one.

The weather on day two couldn’t have been more different than day one. Clear blue skies and bright sun welcomed the counties as they arrived at the host venue.

Cornwall and Herefordshire kicked off proceeding and Herefordshire found Cornwall too strong, providing no reply to a brace from Cornwall’s Sam Dunston and one a piece for Nic Stanlake, Henry Lewis and Cuthbert Shepherd.

Nottinghamshire’s Freddie Sail has no hope of stopping Northumberland’s Chris Traynor’s early Penalty Stroke

Game two saw hosts Nottinghamshire face Northumberland. The last time these two sides met it resulted in a 4-4 draw on a dreary day in Durham. However, on this glorious day Nottinghamshire were slow out of the blocks and Northumberland quickly took control. 3 up in 12 minutes through a Penalty stroke, converted by Chris Traynor, before adding his second and another from James Talbot. Nottinghamshire’s Ryan Day pulled one back just before half-time and Lukasz Urbaniak made Nottinghamshire’s defecit one, just after. However, two further goals form Northumberland’s captain, James Redpath, and with Chris Traynor completing his hat-trick, the game was safe despite Nottinghamshire’s Charlie Brook scoring a late consolidation goal.

In the third game table topping Derbyshire faced Cornwall. A close first half saw Derbyshire’s Chris Beastall get the only goal, before 3 goals in six minutes, from Jacob Foster, Adam Foster and Ben Everett-Li put the game beyond Cornwall. They didn’t give up however, and goals form Martin Rowe and Cuthbert Shepherd pulled it back to 4-2 before Derbyshire’s Adam Foster scored his second to make to 5-2 to Derbyshire. A late consolidation from Cornwall’s Sam Dunston would prove invaluable later in the day.

Two unanswered first half goals from Northumberland’s Andrew Hayes and James Redpath saw them take a 2-0 lead at half time in their last game of the weekend against Herefordshire. Two further goals in the second, from Andrew Titmus and James Talbot were more than enough bearing in mind that Hereford’s only goal came from Harry Ellis.

Nottinghamhire’s Josh Dent limits Derbyshire’s options from a side line ball

The weekend ended with what all the local spectators had been waiting for. A local derby game as Derbyshire took on Nottinghamshire. Cornwall’s results earlier in the day meant that Nottinghamshire needed to win by 2 clear goals in order to qualify for Finals day. Derbyshire had already secured their place. But, local rivalry meant that only a win for either side would do. Notts gained the upper hand on 6 minutes when Ryan Day increased his tally for the weekend with an excellent penalty corner finish. The close proximity of the counties meant that both sides’ players knew each other extremely well, many playing for the same clubs, and it may have been brought to bear when a crunching challenge by Nottinghamshire goalkeeper, Chris Burton, saw Derbyshire awarded a penalty stroke just 60 seconds later. This was calmly converted by Derbyshire’s Adam Foster. Nottinghamshire’s Charlie Brook restored Nottinghamshire lead on 13 minutes, only for Adam Foster to pull Derbyshire level again on 20 minutes. Derbyshire led for the first time on 26 minutes through Guy Draper, before Nottinghamshire pegged them back to 3-3 when Sam Dixon scored from a penalty corner. 2 goals in a minute from Derbyshire’s Dan Molloy and Guy Draper extended their lead to 2, before Nottinghamshire’s Charlie Brook’s penalty corner deflection saw the hosts only trailing by one at half-time. Nottinghamshire’s captain, Adam Innocent, scored early on in the second half to bring the sides level before they took the lead again through Ryan Day. Two goals from Derbyshire’s Chris Beastall saw them regain the lead before Notts captain again pulled the sides level. In the last 10 minutes Nottinghamshire piled on the pressure, but some good saves from Derbyshire’s goalkeeper, Rich Harman, kept the score at 7-7. An over-time penalty corner by Sam Dixon hit a Derbyshire foot for a repeat as Dixon went off in agony having taken a stray stick to his hand. The subsequent and final penalty corner of the game was saved by Harman to keep the score 7-7!

So Derbyshire and Cornwall qualify for finals day after an exciting and thrilling two days of hockey.

Nottinghamshire 2017 Back Row: Amo Soar (Head Coach); Ali Lewis; Josh Dixon; Alex Davies; Ryan Day; Tom Palframan; David Ebbage; Alex Whitt; Chris Burton; Freddie Sail;Sam Dixon; James Hewitt (Assistant Coach) Front row: Ben Docherty; Adam Innocent (Captain); Luke Davies; Lukasz Urbaniak; Charlie Brook; Manny Soar; Josh Dent

Participation

Club Not Selected Selected
Beeston HC 4
Belper HC* 2 4
Boots HC 9
Mansfield HC
Newark HC 1 1
North Notts HC 1
Nottingham HC 1
Nottingham Players HC 1
Nottingham Trent University
Sikh Union (Nottingham) HC 1
South Nottingham
Teddington HC* 1
University of Nottingham
West Bridgford HC 1 2
Worksop (Men) HC

* As well as county club players, those players living, born or studying in the county also qualify to play

Goal Scorers

Penalty Corner Field Goal Total
Ryan Day 3 3 6
Charlie Brook 2 3 5
Adam Innocent © 3 3
Sam Dixon 2 2
Alex Davies 1 1
Manny Soar 1 1
David Ebbage 1 1
Lukasz Urbaniak 1 1

County Championships 2017

At the end of last season Nottinghamshire retained Division B status in England Hockey’s County Championships.  Coach Amo Soar returns for another year alongside his assistant James Hewitt.

The preliminary tournament will be held on 6th-7th May 2017 at our home venue of The Nottingham Hockey Centre.

Please can you pass this information on to all male players within your club and emphasise to those players likely to come along that, at the very least, the first two training sessions and selection are fully open to all, AND FREE.

This is a great opportunity to train alongside some different people to usual, maybe learn some new skills and challenge yourself.

With Notts clubs fairing well this season we are hoping to represent as diverse a spread of the County teams as possible.

The training/selection session dates for your diary are…..

Wednesday 12th April 7:30-9pm – Training & Trials OPEN TO ALL
Wednesday 19th April 7:30-9pm – Training & Trials OPEN TO ALL
Wednesday 26th April 8:00-10pm – Warm-up match vs Lincolnshire – Start 8:15pm
Wednesday 3rd May 7:30-9pm – TBC
(The TBC will likely be a final squad training session – attendees will be informed)

All training is at The Nottingham Hockey Centre on the SAND DRESSED pitch (This is due to the County Championships being played on the sand).

Please arrive at 7:00pm to all of the sessions so we can maximise the pitch time.

As mentioned earlier, the preliminary tournament for entry into Finals day will be held at The Nottingham Hockey Centre  on 6th – 7th May 2017.

If we finish in the top 2 of the group we will qualify for the Semi-Final / Final on Saturday 20th May at the Nottingham Hockey Centre – so a great opportunity with home advantage potentially throughout!

To qualify to play for Nottinghamshire you must meet one of the following criteria;

Play for a Nottinghamshire affiliated club
Have played for Nottinghamshire previously and not played for another county since
Live in Nottinghamshire
Attend a School or University affiliated to Nottinghamshire
Have been born in Nottinghamshire
Criteria will be applied in the above order of preference.

All selected players will receive a NHA training shirt – Anyone can order additional kit from our on-line shop.

NHA shop

Please feel free to invite others along to the training sessions if they meet the above criteria.

Can we also ask that players e-mail gareth@nottshockey.org.uk so we have rough idea on our many players are coming.

All attending players should also fill out and print the attached Player Details Form and bring it with them when they attend. No player will be able to participate in the final squad without one!

Player Details Form

County Championship Preliminary Tournament 2016

On 7th and 8th May, newly promoted Nottinghamshire travelled to Woking Hockey Club to try and achieve their primary objective, retain Division B hockey for next season.

The heat meant it was going to be hard – after all, many of these players had just completed tough league campaigns and long cup runs, and also drawn in a group that contained the two relegated Division A sides from last season, but after a successful training & selection process and a couple of warm up games confidence was high.

Notts first game of the weekend was against Shropshire, one of last seasons relegated A division sides and strongly tipped to bounce straight back up.

Notts Skipper Adam Innocent goes agonisingly close against Shropshire

Notts started strongly and could have had the prefect start, but Skipper Adam Innocent’s cheeky lob agonisingly scraped the wrong side of the Shropshire post after only a few minutes.

The game was finely balanced and Shropshire had several good changes of their own. It was, however, Sam Dixon who would find the net first for Notts to put them one up at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw some more finely balanced hockey but as the temperature by the pitch reached 30C and against the run of play, Shropshire pulled level with a nicely crafter penalty corner with just 30 seconds remaining in the half.

Notts reacted well and, just before half time, a quick free hit from Charlie Brooke caught the Shropshire defence napping and allowed Sam Dixon to get his second of the game.

Sam Dixon scores just before half time

A cruel rebound off the post, early into the second half, helped Shropshire pull back level and the scoreline remained 2-2 at the end of the third quarter.

Shropshire took the lead at the start of the third quarter, only to have that cancelled out by Sam Dixon, completing his hat-trick, almost immediately, following up the rebound from his own drag-flick. Adam Henfry then put Notts ahead with a superb reverse stick strike.  With the clock running down Shropshire reverted to the long ball game and it eventually reaped rewards when they equalised for the last time with only seconds remaining.

A great showing by all accounts for Notts, but it was the highly tipped Shropshire who were more happy with the point at the end.

Notts second game of the Saturday was against Bedfordshire, the other relegated A division County last season.

Some good early pressure for Notts but it was Bedfordshire that ended the first quarter in front by a single goal.

Notts were unlucky again when a bungled Penalty Corner routine led to disarray on both sides and allowed Bedfordshire to score again, leaving Notts two down at half time.

Charlie Brooke surges through the Bedfordshire defence

Notts were having all the territory and possession though, and it was only a matter of time before David Ebbage would finally pull a goal back for Notts.  Then followed a long period of sustained possession for Notts around the Bedfordshire goal.  They hit the keepers face-mask and the cross bar within seconds of each other and it was only what they deserved when a great run from Ryan Day gave him time to pick out Adam Innocent unmarked on the penalty spot. He finished calmly to bring Notts level at the end of the third quarter.

A defensive lapse early into the final quarter saw Bedfordshire pull back in front. But Notts weren’t going to allow these points to slip away as they had in the earlier game.  Sam Dixon fired a rocket past the Bedfordshire keeper with just minutes to go to draw level, before a quick free hit by Josh Singleton to Adam Innocent split the Bedfordshire defence. He then moved the ball on quickly to Sam Dixon, who coolly rounded the Bedfordshire keeper to put Notts ahead with just seconds to go. Final score, Notts 4-3 Bedfordshire.

The end of day one and, with 4 points, Notts had all but achieved their primary objective.  Never in recent history had a team been relegated with 4 points.  With other results in this incredibly tight division also going their way, Notts actually found themselves topping the group at the end of the first day.  No game had been settled by more than a single goal, underlining just how tightly it was balanced.

Day 2, even hotter weather (measured at 34C on the pitch) and Notts first game was against Surrey, the County that Notts lost to in last seasons Division C final.  Notts were looking for revenge, but in the end it was the home County that used their home advantage to the fullest.  It was incredibly tight at the beginning and the score remained at 0-0 at half time.

Notts keeper Chris Burton guides a Surrey forward wide

Surrey found the net early on in the second half from a penalty corner, but Notts’ Sam Dixon deftly glanced the ball in off the post from close range to pull the sides back level.  The heat and effort required in day one’s games started to take their toll on Notts now and they eventually lost out 5-1.

Notts final game loomed against long time Division B county Somerset.  Even though there was a mathematical chance that Notts could still make the finals the heat had taken it’s toll.

A scrappy first half saw Notts down 0-3 at half time.

Somerset apply pressure on the Notts goal

Somerset would extend that lead to 4-0 before Henry Godkin could pull a goal back for Notts.  Somerset extended their lead to 6-1 before Martk Northcott could pull another back, but it was Somerset that completed the scoring for the day to lead 7-2 at the final whistle.

So this season’s campaign is over.  Tired legs and a bit of sun-burn but well worth the prospect of Division B hockey next season and, who knows, the possibility of hosting and a slightly kinder draw could see Notts achieve next season’s target which is to reach the Play-off finals.

Notts 2016 Squad
Back Row : Sara Parr (Manager) James Wakeland, Sam Dixon, David Ebbage, Adam Henfry, Matt Orridge, Max Sowter, Ryan day, Oliver Matharu, Nathan Wakeland, Mark Northcott
Front row: Adam Innocent, Manny Soar, Josh Singleton, Josh Dixon, Charlie Brooke, Henry Godkin, Alex Davies, Amo Soar (coach)
Side: Chris Burton

Senior Men’s County Championships 2016

Promotion for Nottinghamshire in last years County Championships means a new, tougher challenge for head coach Amo Soar and his new assistant James Hewitt.

The preliminary tournament will be held on 7th-8th May 2016 at Woking Hockey Club in Surrey.

Please can you pass this information on to all male players within your club and emphasise to those players likely to come along that, at the very least, the first two training sessions and selection are fully open to all, AND FREE.

This is a great opportunity to train alongside some different people to usual, maybe learn some new skills and challenge yourself.

With Notts clubs fairing well this season we are hoping to represent as diverse a spread of the County teams as possible.

The training/selection session dates for your diary are…..

  • Wednesday      6th April     7:30-9pm – Training & Trials OPEN TO ALL
  • Wednesday     13th April   7:30-9pm – Training & Trials OPEN TO ALL
  • Wednesday     20th April  7:30-9pm – TBC
  • Wednesday     27th April   7:30-9pm – TBC
  • Wednesday     4th May     7:30-9pm – TBC

(The TBC will likely be a squad practice match and final squad training – attendees will be informed)

All training is at Highfields on the Water.

Please arrive at 7:00pm to all of the sessions so we can maximise the pitch time.

As mentioned earlier, the preliminary tournament for entry into Finals day will be held at Woking Hockey Club on 7th – 8th May 2016. An overnight stay will be required and will be supported by the County Association.

If we finish in the top 2 of the group we will qualify for the Semi-Final / Final on Saturday 21st May (TBC) at Cannock HC.

To qualify to play for Nottinghamshire you must meet one of the following criteria;

  • Play for a Nottinghamshire affiliated club
  • Have played for Nottinghamshire previously and not played for another county since
  • Live in Nottinghamshire
  • Attend a School or University affiliated to Nottinghamshire
  • Have been born in Nottinghamshire

Criteria will be applied in the above order of preference.

All selected players will receive a NHA Polo shirt – Anyone can order additional kit from our on-line shop.

NHAshop

Please feel free to invite others along to the training sessions if they meet the above criteria.

Can we also ask that players e-mail gareth@nottshockey.org.uk so we have rough idea on our many players are coming.

All attending players should also fill out and print the attached Player Details Form and bring it with them when they attend.  No player will be able to participate in the final squad without one!

Player Details Form

Nottinghamshire Promoted in England Hockey’s County Championships

On a sunny, but breezy, Saturday at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club in Essex, Nottinghamshire Hockey Association’s senior men’s County squad faced their sternest test of the last few season, a promotion battle into the second tier of England Hockey’s County Championships.

A strong squad by all accounts, but one that would only travel with 16 due to the last minute withdrawal of 2 players (one due to work commitments and one to a bereavement) Notts were confident going into their semi-final against Herefordshire.

Manny Soar forces the Herefordshire 'keeping into a good save early on in their County Championships Semi Final
Manny Soar forces the Herefordshire ‘keeping into a good save early on in their County Championships Semi Final

Notts started well and pinned Herefordshire deep in their own half for prolonged periods. Notts skipper, Adam Innocent, and Manny Soar forced Herefordshire’s goalkeeper into some smart saves early on, but it wasn’t until 2 minutes from half time when the sustained pressure paid dividends and Mark Northcott struck to put Notts ahead.

Notts' skipper, Adam Innocent, scores Notts 5th v Herefordshire
Notts’ skipper, Adam Innocent, scores Notts 5th v Herefordshire

With the winner of this game guaranteed promotion, Notts forged ahead in the second half and made their possession count. A converted Penalty Stroke by Sam Dixon and a fine finish by Adam Henfry saw Notts 3 ahead. Herefordshire tried forcing themselves back into the game and pulled a goal back from a Penalty Corner with 8 minutes to go, only for Nortcott to double his tally and restore Notts 3 goal lead just 2 minutes later. Hereford scored another with 5 minutes to go to raise their hopes, only to have them dashed by a double strike by Notts skipper Innocent. The first a rifling strike from the top of the D into the bottom corner and the second a cheeky lob to the far post which the Herefordshire ‘keeper could only watch helplessly. Final score Notts 6 v 2 Herefordshire and on to the final at 3pm.

With Notts primary aim of getting promoted into ‘B’ division confirmed it was a relaxed, but tiring squad that faced Surrey, returning after several years’ absence from the competition, in the ‘C’ division final.

Surrey were confident, having only conceded 3 goals in their last 5 games, but after several near misses when it looked easier to score, it was Notts who made it count first when Northcott finished from a clever Penalty Corner routine. Northcott struck again from an overtime Penalty Corner at the end of the first half to double his and Notts tally.

Notts 'keeper, James Wakeland, and Matt Orridge concentrate through a crowd during a Surrey PC in the C Division Final
Notts ‘keeper, James Wakeland, and Matt Orridge concentrate through a crowd during a Surrey PC in the C Division Final

The second half started with a ding-dong battle. Sam Dixon extended Notts lead just 2 minutes into the second half only for Surrey to pull one back just 2 minutes later. Sixty seconds later Surrey scored again to reduce the deficit to one. Just 5 minutes passed before Notts Alex Davies finished calmly after some good work by Sam Dixon to restore Notts 2 goal advantage. But, as the short-handed Notts squad began to tire, Surrey started to get the upper hand. Surrey scored from a Penalty Corner and then from free play to bring the scores level. With 5 minutes left Surrey controversially took the lead and it was an exhausted Notts squad that conceded their 6th goal of the game with seconds remaining to lose 4-6.

After several seasons back in the competition Nottinghamshire now seem to have a stable core of squad players and will be looking to improve further in next year’s competition. For full details of Nottinghamshire Hockey Association news, including how you could get involved in hockey in the county, visit www.nottshockey.org.uk

Notts HA Squad - Promoted from C Division
Notts HA Squad – Promoted from C Division

Nottinghamshire Squad

Amo Soar – Head Coach
Phillip Rhodes – Assistant Coach (not present in photo)
Sara Parr – Manager

John Short – Boots HC
James Wakeland – Newark HC
Nathaniel Hammond – West Bridgford HC
Ben Docherty – Boots HC
Josh Dixon – Newark HC
Alex Whitt – Boots HC
Matt Orridge – Mansfield HC
Sam Dixon *Belper HC, England U16/U18
David Ebbage – South Nottingham HC
Henry Baldwin – West Bridgford HC
Luke Davies – Boots HC, South Africa U16/U18
Oliver Matharu – West Bridgford HC
Adam Henfry – Boots HC
James Hewitt – South Nottingham HC
Manny Soar – Boots HC
Mark Northcott – *Burton HC
Alex Davies – Newark HC
Adam Innocent – Boots HC

*Note the England Hockey County Championships is open to players of affiliated Clubs within the County, plus those born and/or living in the County.