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Barcelona Tour 2016


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Sevenoaks ladies Veterans over 35 and 45 combined forces and recently played at the beautiful Barcelona Polo Club . We entered 2 teams in the round robin tournament playing sides from Spain , Belgium and Holland . Despite French air traffic control trying to scuppa our visit all 26 of our group eventually arrived on 23rd June to the Hotel Don Jaime . A dip in the pool and a couple of G&T all travel woes were forgotten . 
We headed off for our pre tour dinner on the beach to find Barcelona in party mood as it was the start of a four day bank holiday . Fed and watered we retired to prepare for our 1st match at 10 am .

So Friday game day we played 5 matches only loosening to the home Polo club side who were so not over 35 ! After adjusting to the heat and warm wine ( ice was found) the highlight of the day was beating The Red foxes aka the Spanish over 35 champions . A brilliant match with players aged 35 to 60 something! showed the Spanish why we are such a brilliant vets team . 
So a little dancing and a few hydrating drinks later we made it home to regroup for Sat games 

So Sat the Red foxes managed to win the return fixture ( presuming they got to bed before midnight !) we certainly didn't . A couple more wins and then a return match v Polo and a much closer game enough said .Don't think they got the memo it's a vets festival! 

Last games of the day were against our new friends from Kampong ( true Dutch on and off the pitch ) a win and a draw secured us 3rd / fourth playoff spot and 5/6th playoff spot on Sunday . So hockey done for the day we frequented the Polo Club patio for tapas wine and dancing . Lots of dancing .

Sunday came and all made it to the 10 am match not sure how ?A 7 nil win for the girls  against the Belgium's secured 5th spot and then at noon . Mad dogs indeed . A nil/ nil draw with Kampong ,Zulu start win for me and a win at 1/2 time bosh ball . So a shared 3rd place . A great end to a brilliant weekend in Barcelona . 

13 matches played over 2 & half days , 8 wins 2 draws and 3 losses 

Thank you to all the team on and off the pitch we showed exactly why we are part of The European Club of the Year  . 



CHAMPIONS!!!   Masters Over 45 National Cup Final
                     Cambridge City v Sevenoaks


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An early start saw the over 45 Sevenoaks Ladies travel to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Olympic Park to play old East rivals Cambridge City. Everyone arrived in good time and a combination of excitement and nerves was clear for all to see. Despite the London Marathon gracing London that day and the early push back time of 10 am the Sevenoaks faithful supporters turned out in force to cheer on friends and family of the squad players.

Coach Sue Chandler set the tone for the day with a professional relaxed team talk and the squad were ready to warm up on the Olympic pitch, get a feel for the atmosphere and start focussing on the task ahead.
After the line out let by captain Michele Harvey and player introduction to the crowd, the game started and Oaks immediately attacked and won an early penalty corner through captain Harvey. A great strike from Lisa Boldrini saw the Cambridge keeper make a fine save, unfortunately not to be the only one as she had a cracking game and frustrated Sevenoaks throughout the match. A series of penalty corners were well defended and Cambridge then had their first attack and first shot on goal to go 1-0 up completely against the run of play. Carolyn Kelly was running amuck in midfield with Louise Keith and Sue Acott working tirelessly to create scoring opportunities. Up front Michele Harvey, Lisa boldrini, Pia Tucker, Julie Nicholson and Janine Nicholls all helped to create great opportunities for oaks to get back on level terms but Cambridge fought to keep everything out. This was how it remained at half time and the teams went to the changing room where Sue Chandler encouraged the team they were playing well and tweaked a few areas to improve on in the second half. A mad dash to get back on the pitch for the second half saw the ladies just make it before Cambridge started the second half.
Oaks continued their good play from the first half and 14 minutes in an excellent team move saw Michele Harvey and Louise Keith release Carolyn Kelly who drove into the D firing home a stunning shot. A superb touch by Julie Nicholson saw it go past the keeper and oaks were back on level terms with the crowd going mad.
The game became more open with Cambridge continuing to thwart several corners, saving on the line and defending resolutely and beginning to have more attacks of their own, in defence Sarah Burnham, Fran Walton, Kim Wollf and Jacqui Hudson were resolute, composed and brilliant keeping Cambridge out. In goal Lynn Dawson was called upon to make several crucial saves and Walton made a great save on the line from a cracking Cambridge corner.
As we entered the last ten minutes it was anyone's match with Carolyn Kelly, sue Acott and Louise Keith brilliant in midfield ably supporting their defence. Up front Boldrini was still finding the Cambridge keeper in fine form with Carol Pretty and Caroline Shrimpton adding fuel to the fire. A last chance by Cambridge was well defended, the final whistle went and penalty strokes were to decide the cup final.
Oaks went first and Kim Wollf slotted home with ease with Cambridge equalising, Lisa Boldrini stepped up and made it 2-1, Cambridge missed and Harvey's flick was then saved with Cambridge then coming back to 2-2. Sue Acott and Louise Keith both scored their flicks as did Cambridge so it was 4-4 and into sudden death. Cambridge stepped up and failed to score so it was a great opportunity for Kim Wollf to win the cup and win the cup she did! Calmly she slotted the ball home and the crowd and team went nuts.
The trophy and medal ceremony was brilliant with smiles and hugs all round. This was the second year of the National cup and Oaks first year entering it and what an impact they had. Beating Canterbury, Bedford and Woking on route Michele Harvey raised the cup to the crowd and all the hard work was worth every second.
How proud of a team can one be, a true team performance. Every player was immense and also many thanks to Helen Grimbley and Sarah Young for their play in previous rounds and to Sarah Young for being sub keeper on finals day. Also to Jill Harvey and Nicky Hollamby for completing the extended squad and their invaluable support.
Team Lynn Dawson, Sarah Young, Jacqui Hudson, Fran Walton, Kim Wollf, Sarah Burnham, Caroline Shrimpton, Sue Acott, Louise Keith, Carolyn Kelly, Michele Harvey, Lisa Boldrini, Julie Nicholson, Pia Tucker, Carol Pretty, Janine Nichols. management Sue Chandler, Karen Taylor and SJ Marshall.

Investec Masters over 35 cup final
Bowden Hightown v Sevenoaks


With not a minute to breathe, the over 35's entered the stage and after congratulatory hugs all round and after a team talk from captain Amanda Bishop they started their warm up. With Sarah Burnham, Kim Wollf, Louise Keith, Carolyn Kelly, Lisa boldrini and Michele Harvey being asked to be part of the squad, some saw this as a gamble, others as selection of those that had played in each round to date who had earned their rightful place to play in the final and were confident in their fitness levels and ability to do so.
The growing Sevenoaks crowd and buzz from the previous match saw the line out, which saw Lisa Boldrini just making it in time, led out by Amanda Bishop receive a fantastic reception.
The energy and adrenaline from the previous match saw Oaks fire on all cylinders and were awesome as they started the match, attacking at pace through Louise Keith, Carolyn Kelly, George Fletcher, Jacquie Ward, Sarah Pinkstone, Ruth Bingham, Emily young and Helen Miller. An early penalty corner was well defended but Helen Miller opened the scoring with a fine deflection with the next one and Oaks were on their way to a potential double.
However Bowden were soon up the other end calling Julia Wood into action in goal and what a match she was to have in her final competitive game before hanging up her pads and kickers. With Bowden piling in the pressure Amanda Bishop, Kim Wollf and the ever youthful Sarah Burnham were brilliant with Jacquie Ward and George Fletcher helping to keep Tina Cullen as quiet as could be. Completely against the run of play Oaks went up the other end and Helen Miller made it 2-0.
Fine defending kept Bowden out but a lapse in concentration saw danger player Tina Cullen at the top of the d on her own with just Wood to beat in goal, but she stood tall and held her ground and when the rocket shot came from Cullen she saved brilliantly and earned a high 5 from the 402 time premier league scorer.
Oaks went in 2-0 at half time but knew they were in one hell of a battle.
With chances either end in the second half, Julia Wood was making save after save with Oaks hitting the post from a Miller shot after an excellent interlinking team move and pass from Ruth Bingham and Bowden drew one back to make it 2-1. Ward and Fletcher were showing more and more of their attacking class with Boldrini and Harvey helping to keep the intensity going up front. With Brenda Hogg and Lucie Jones superbly supporting on the bench with a fantastic attitude knowing they may not get on the pitch the squad was at one as they fought to emulate their older club mates.
Helen Miller scored her hattrick to take the lead to 3-1 and yet Bowden kept coming. The team dug in and showed immense character to keep Bowden out and go up the other end to score their fourth and Sarah Pinkstone's first of the match. With the clock running down victory was in sight and Oaks had done it. Two National cup wins in a matter of hours and pride again for Sevenoaks Hockey Club in what has been a truly amazing season.
To play one cup final is great but to compete in two and be on the pitch for every second is an incredible feat. Particular mention to 60 year old Sarah Burnham, quite simply a club legend, and Kim Wollf for achieving this. To Louise Keith and Carolyn Kelly for playing major parts in both finals and to Lisa Boldrini and Michele Harvey too for adding vital pitch time to both competitions, well done to you all.
As the team went up to collect their trophy it was Julia Wood who was given the honour in her last game as captain Amanda Bishop graciously stepped back. More cheers and more hugs saw exhausted yet exhilarated squads and supporters delighted with the days work and celebrations ensued.
With several very tough matches and travel as far as Whitley bay throughout the competition the title was thoroughly deserved.
Team Julia Wood, Amanda Bishop, Sarah Burnham, Kim Wollf, Louise Keith, Brenda Hogg, Lucie jones, Jacquie Ward, George Fletcher, Ruth Bingham, Carolyn Kelly, Sarah Pinkstone, Emily young, Helen Miller, lisa Boldrini, Michele Harvey. Management Sue Chandler, Karen Taylor and SJ Marshall.

With Sevenoaks one of the nominees from England Hockey as the club of the year and the Men's 1st X1 team of the year the two cup wins surely have helped to strengthen their chances.
Many many thanks to every member of the squad and management, to everyone who supported us, not only at Lee valley but throughout the season, to the club for their financial support especially on the long trip to Whitley bay and to Steve and Julie for opening the Vine so the celebrations could continue.