Thame’s terrific triple title triumph

Thame Hockey Club's mens team celebrates league victory
Thame Hockey Club's mens team celebrates league victory

THAME Hockey Club ended the season with a flourish which saw three of their four adult teams win their leagues.

The men’s first team did just enough to seal the title after a nervy 1-1 away draw against Henley was enough to crown them champions.

The visitors went into the game knowing a single point against the strugglers would be enough having secured promotion the week before.

Despite the importance of the game it was clear from the start a certain level of complacency had set in as the hosts put in a strong performance belying their lowly league position.

Thame struggled to control the ball on an uncertain surface and time and time again were let down by basic skills as they squandered possession and put themselves under pressure.

Will Sawrey-Cookson was an ever-present threat on the counter-attack as he created several promising opportunities which were not taken advantage of.

At the other end, Henley went close after a defensive mix-up saw a home striker go through on goal but fail to convert.

Just before half-time Sawrey-Cookson showed he was one step ahead of everyone else as he seized on a loose ball, danced past three defenders and fired into the Henley net.

If Thame expected Henley to fold with this goal they were mistaken and again were under pressure as shortly after the break the hosts had their strongest period of play – Andy Sykes in goal was called upon to make several quality saves.

Thame suffered an injury blow when Jaypee Wentzel pulled up with a hamstring which although he carried on basically saw Thame reduced to 10 men.

Henley scored following a mix-up at a short corner routine which fortunately squirmed under Sykes.

Thame’s woes deepened further when Max Schofield was sin-binned for dissent to leave Thame battling against a tide of Henley attacks.

Despite some near misses and a few lucky breaks, the visitors did well to hold on to seal the title against a surprisingly strong Henley side.

The second team were also celebrating as they too won the league with a strong 3-0 away win over Banbury.

The ladies first team won their league in March with four games remaining while the seconds had their strongest season yet.

All three teams can look forward to playing in a higher tier next season.