Vase glory caps perfect season

Eastbourne Ladies Hockey
Eastbourne Ladies Hockey

Striker Jen Atkins ensured Eastbourne Ladies Hockey Club’s success continued as they were crowned National Vase champions at Beeston Hockey Centre last week.

The ladies, who had already won their league title and gained promotion to the Regional South B league, brushed aside the challenge of Winchester Ladies to claim a 5-2 Vase final victory.

It capped an excellent week for the ladies after they were named the Eastbourne Herald Adult Sports Team of the Year at the Achievers’ Awards held at the Winter Garden last Friday.

Atkins was the lady in form as she grabbed a brace in each half, with fellow striker Nat Boyd adding the fifth.

Skipper Sharon Clay said, “Once again it was a real team effort from us. We were two up at half time and in the second half our fitness really showed.

“We finished strongly and had too much for Winchester.

“It has been an unbelievable season. We were promoted as champions, we were named team of the year and now we have won the Vase.

“It really could not have gone any better for us.”

Sharon also highlighted the immense contribution made by the coaches. England veterans player Tony Hayes and England Masters player Jane Parkinson have helped organise and prepare the side throughout their successful season.

“They have been fantastic,” Sharon added. “They are brilliant, highly-respected coaches who have given their time to the club.”

Also singled out for special mentions were inspirational goalkeeper Kat Turner, Hannah Collins and four-goal hero Atkins.

“The team spirit has been fantastic and these three have really contributed to that.”