Bognor Town Ladies have completed the league and cup double – their biggest achievement in their 15-year history – in an explosive season finale.
Having already won the league, they faced Lewes III in the final of the Sussex Hockey Association Vase in a repeat of last year’s victory.
Both teams were raring to go with a group of supporters adding to the atmosphere at East Grinstead HC.
From the start, Lewes made probing advances and won an early penalty corner. Bognor saw off this advance, and retailated with a series of breaks.
Tcita Haines and captain Teresa Cooper set things moving and supported Charlotte Cox in the middle, finding Karen Harmer, who only narrowly missed the target.
Bognor’s Nadia Muncey, just 16, was running the left, picked up several balls, laying them on to Clare Mcknight. Bognor’s hustle resulted in a penalty corner, after a bad challenge on Cox, which she converted, making it 1-0 at half-time.
After the break, Bognor persevered despite some crashing tackles and Kim Agate found herself in the D with the ball, winning a short corner from a misplaced Lewes foot. Again, Cox converted.
Lewes charged back at Bognor and scored but Bognor’s Emma Hunter, Debbie Cox, Helen Arnold and Vanessa Green, backed up by an amazing performance from 16-year-old Lily Morris in goal, ensured this would be their only one.
Haines, Bognor’s star distributor, worked tirelessly in the middle despite having given birth to her son only in February.
Another Lewes hack resulted in Cox converting another penalty corner with her dangerous reverse-stick shot before captin Cooper converted a Cox cross of her own, making the final score 4-1. Player of the match was Haines.
Bognor ladies thanked sponsor The Fox Inn in Felpham and their supporters for a remarkable year.
Coach Jerry Cox is happy to be concluding his career on a high note, with Bognor making history and winning both the cup and league titles; a rare double. His departure will be a hefty loss for the club, who are seeking a new coach.
Captain Cooper said: “We’ve had a great season with our success coming from a great team working hard together every game.
“We’ve won the league gaining promotion, won the cup – retaining it from last year’s success – and now we’re looking forward to next year already. I’d like to thank my team and our amazing coach. It will be a loss him going next year but we know he’ll still be there to support – bring it on!”
BOGNOR: Lily Morris, Kim Agate, Emma Hunter, Debbie Cox, Vanessa Green, Helen Arnold, Nadia Muncey, Charlotte Cox, Sue Perry, Tcita Haines, Theresa Cooper, June Rogers, Clare McKnight, Karen Harmer, Sue Woodall.
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