Title joy beckons for hockey club after Wycombe win

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IT was another undefeated weekend for Thame Hockey Club with three wins and a draw.

The men’s first team moved within a point of sealing the title with a workmanlike 4-1 home victory over Wycombe.

Captain Gareth Birkett was the hero of the hour as a change of position from midfield to attack paid dividends as he scored an early first-half goal to edge Thame in front.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, as Thame put themselves under pressure with a number of sloppy mistakes against a well-drilled and young visiting side. With the game in the balance, Wycombe went close after stealing the ball in a dangerous area but the striker was only able to hit the post from a tight angle.

Thame retaliated in style as Will Sawrey-Cookson cut through the midfield and buried his strike past the keeper and into the roof of the net.

Wycombe hit back with a weak short corner that should have been stopped before Birkett struck again to seal his hat-trick and the victory for Thame.

Thame face Henley away on Saturday requiring a single point to take the title.

Elsewhere, the men’s seconds beat Witney 4-2 thanks in part to a hat-trick from young superstar Will Hawthorne.

The youngster’s treble and Ali Vaan’s first goal for the club were enough to give Thame the points and keep them in the running for the championship.

Man of the match Mark Gould was everywhere as he helped his side set up a final day showdown against Banbury.

Meanwhile, the ladies’ firsts showed no intention of taking the foot off the pedal despite already having won the league when they beat Oxford ladies 7-0 away. The seconds drew 3-3 with Wokingham.