Thame Hockey Club men’s first XI got their season off to a great start with a 9-3 victory over Abingdon in their first game in Division Two of the South Hockey League.
After a fifth successive promotion last year Thame began their opening match as the underdogs. However, from the first whistle Thame were dominant as they swept aside their opponents with fast flowing and incisive passing moves.
Joe Robinson was Thame’s star performer scoring four goals including a hat-trick inside the first 20 minutes of the game. Jeremiah Ward also grabbed a brace for the visitors including a goal before half-time to make it 4-0.
A poorly-judged Thame pass was picked off by a fortuitous Abingdon striker to give the home side a glimmer of hope just after half-time. The visitors hit back through Will Hawthorn who pulled off a fine finish to mark his first team debut and make it 5-1.
Abingdon struck again for their second from the top of the circle to pull it back to 5-2 before Ward scored his second against the sometimes ragged Abingdon defence to make it 6-2.
The relentless forward play then saw a penalty stroke awarded to Thame and captain Gareth Birkett stepped up to convert to make it 7.
Abingdon threw caution to the wind and piled forward, scoring one more consolation goal before Sawrey-Cookson finished a trademark strike from the top of the circle and Robinson made it four to finish the game 9-3.
Thame sit top of the league after week one but need to be much tighter at the back if they want to maintain their top spot in the table.
Their next game is a tough home fixture against West Hampstead on Saturday October 12 at Thame Leisure Centre (ko 2pm).