Eastbourne Hockey Club got their season off to a winning start with a deserved victory over Milton Keynes on Saturday.
After a successful pre-season, manager David Adelston was confident his side could transfer that form into their first league match and they duly delivered.
Against a Milton Keynes side who thrashed Eastbourne 8-1 at the tail end of last season, the south-coast side started the brighter of the two on a slick Beresford Astroturf at Eastbourne College.
Goals from Andy Edwards, Pat Skinner and James Van Der Driesen secured the 3-2 victory for the home side in a particularly hard-fought battle.
Adelston said, “We’re absolutely delighted with the win. It was really important, psychologically, to get that opening victory under our belts and we managed it.
“We were happy with our pre-season but it’s always different when you start playing competitively because everyone wants it that little bit more.
“Milton Keynes were never going to travel down here and only give 70, 80 percent.
“They’ve come and given 110 percent, which meant maybe it was more of a physical battle than we wanted, but we got through it and we’re delighted to get the first points on the board.”
For all their joy on Saturday though, Eastbourne couldn’t replicate their success on Sunday when they travelled to National League side Havant I in the EHCup and were brutally beaten 7-0.
They must put that disappointment to one side though when they continue their Southern Premier Division campaign this weekend with a trip to Chichester who finished eighth - three places above Eastbourne - in the table last year and will be looking to rectify the 3-2 defeat they suffered in their opening day fixture to Brighton and Hove.
The Ladies lost their opening match of their South Club’s League Division 3B season 3-0 to Basingstoke. All the goals came in the first half. Next week the ladies travel to Worthing.