It was an amazing weekend for Alderley Edge Hockey Club as they fielded 14 league teams and four junior sides on Saturday and it really was a Super Sunday in the EHB knockout competitions.
The girls U-18s started proceedings playing Timperley in the North final and producing some sublime hockey ran out 10-0 winners. The U-16s were also in North finals action against Crockbourne (Isle of Man), Springfields and Thirsk and won all three matches 2-0, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively and will join their elder counterparts in competing in the National finals to be held at the Olympic pitches in London at the end of the month.
The men's Masters completely dominated their visitors Solihull Blossomfield and a combination of determined defending, good goalkeeping and poor execution in the D as well as squandering many penalty corners meant Alderley Edge only lead 2-0 at the break thanks to James Offer's close range finish after a melee around the goal and a neat turn and finish from Mike Parkin. The second half was similar with Alderley Edge wasting chances, but it was the visitors who scored the only goal with a back post tap in following a good break down the right. Alderley Edge are now through the the Quarterfinals of the competition which they won last year.
The girls U-14 girls concluded their final fixtures in their round robin league competition, away in Durham, which was a battle of the top three who going in all boasted perfect records and Alderley Edge beat the hosts 4-2 and Liverpool Sefton 8-2 to finish as league winners.
The U-11s drew two and beat Timperley 5-0, Macclesfield 2-1 and Wilmslow 7-0 in their tournament.
In the North league Alderley Edge had sixteen players unavailable, but the ones still beat Timperley 3-2, after dominating the early stages Sam Gregory and Joe Coxon went close with Timperley looking disinterested. Alderley Edge took the lead when incisive passing lead to Adam Wildig sneaking in to apply the finish. Shortly after A penalty corner was awarded to the disappointment of the Timperley keeper who talked himself in to a yellow card, Scott Mattingly flicked the resultant set piece high into the top corner.
Alderley Edge were at it again when a ball fired into the D was expertly deflected the ball into the net. In a rare foray forward on the stroke of half time Timperley broke into the D and determined attacking play meant the ball was bundled over the line. In the second half Timperley's talented players showed attacking intent but a lack of wanting to defend and in a poor quality half Alderley Edge got in to good positions but the final ball was lacking. Timperley did show more desire and pulled a goal back when they won the ball in midfield and broke forward to have a clear shot at goal. the impressive Simon Parr then struck the post with a rising drive. Timperley missed a penalty stroke firing wide of the goal and with the last shot of the game hit the post from a penalty corner. Alderley Edge deserved the win, but made hard work of it.
The twos with a bare 11 including players promoted up the sides and players making their first appearances after long term injuries faced Liverpool Uni 1s away, a fantastic display of commitment saw them go down 4-1 with Andrew Wood scoring from a penalty corner.
The threes lost to table toppers Deeside 6-1 and have two games left to stay out of the relegation zone.
The 4s kept up their hopes of promotion with a solid 4-0 win over Stockport/Bramhall.
The fifth team saw their promotion hopes made tougher when they conceded a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Knutsford 2s.
A much changed 6th team were unfortunate to go down 3-2 at Crewe.
The 7s played Keele Uni first team who have won all of their matches this year and pushed them closer than any other team has managed being edged out 2-1.
Their was also a fixture for the new 8th team against Lymm, they have joined the league late following withdrawal of other sides.
A huge thank you to the 31 umpires and many volunteers for making this all possible.
Match report by James Riley.