North Somerset reflect on a successful hockey campaign
PUBLISHED: 15:30 23 May 2020
North Somerset Hockey Club have been able to reflect on a successful 2019/20 season during the recent lockdown.
The early finish to the campaign meant the men’s first team missed out on a chance to make it third time lucky in the Somerset Cup and uncertainty surrounds the final against Yeovil & Sherborne.
But they had won the Verde Recreo Conference South title, so when hockey does return they will be aiming to consolidate in the Championship.
New recruits settled well as the team produced a devastating mix of controlled possession play and lightning fast counters.
The women had gained promotion to the Central Division of the West League, the highest level the club has played at, with the aim to establish themselves.
They recruited well and won 5-2 at Bridgwater on opening day, with an impressive 5-1 home win over Taunton Civil Service also recorded.
A lack of consistency stopped them challenging at the top of the table as North finished sixth with seven wins and a draw from 16 fixtures.
The seconds had another strong season and were in a four-way battle at the top with Bristol Unviersity, Bristol and Somerset Gryphons.
The season ended with two fixtures unplayed, against hopeful rivals, but the young and improving North squad captained by Jo Withers secured the second promotion spot behind Bristol University with a better points per game average than the other teams.
The men’s seconds had a season of two halves in West Central One, losing their first nine league games due to injuries and unavailability of key players.
But having been bottom of the table just before Christmas, they went on an eight-match unbeaten run and had climbed up to eighth place when play was suspended and aim to push for promotion next season.
The thirds were in a competitive West Central Two division, performing well against lower teams but finding it difficult against top teams.
Six new juniors made their senior debuts, with four new adult members also playing a part to strengthen the team in a range of positions throughout the season.
Captain Colin Ainsworth was joined by son Josh, with founder member David Colling lining up alongside son Charlie.
The Sunday junior section continued to develop with training slots doubled to two hours to handle increased numbers.
Squads entered the Avon Junior tournaments at under-10 and under-12 level, performing well, and friendlies were also played against other clubs.
The 12 to 15-year-olds had regular action in the Badgers League, with good results, while founder members Fraser Black and Graham Feboul competed for Somerset & Wiltshire in the National Veterans (O60) Cup final against Essex.
The annual Presidents v Chairmans match was played at Christmas, with the latter winning a friendly but competitive clash.
Off the pitch, the club gained Sports England’s ClubMark accreditation, having met criteria set to be seen as a well-run sports club, providing a safe and secure environment for young people to engage in sport.
Thanks were also given to Hughes Carpentry, Cornerstone Construction and Butcombe Brewery for sponsoring the men’s first team, juniors and ladies.
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