HOCKEY: THE Old Sils mixed XI travelled to Sheffield this weekend to compete in the National Mixed Hockey Finals and came away as national champions.
They played Norwich City in their semi final in torrential rain and, after drawing 2-2 in normal time, got through to the final following the drama of a penalty shoot out.
Jamie Glynn, Dan Sulway and Tom Mallet all scored their penalty flicks, while O’Malley continued his heroics in goal saving two of Norwich’s three.
This meant the Sils only had to score one of their last two to progress. but a miss meant the match went to sudden death penalties.
Glynn, Sulway and Mallet all scored again putting the pressure onto Norwich who missed the last flick.
This set them up for a Sunday showdown with Deeside Ramblers, this time in bright sunshine, who beat Wootton Wanderers in their semi final.
This was the first time Sils had made it to the finals weekend and now they had nothing to lose in the final.
They started the match flying out of the blocks.
Kat Berns scored for the Sils inside the first five minutes of the game following some excellent work from Simon Clapham in the heart of the midfield.
The Sils continued to apply pressure and dominate, despite men’s top scorer Jamie Glynn breaking his finger early on.
They capitalised on this dominance when man of the match Dan Sulway powered home his first of the game from a short corner.
This seemed to inspire the team and Dan Sulway had soon added another after Naomi Ennis had won the team a short corner.
Then a lapse in concentration at the back allowed Deeside in to claim a well taken goal just before the break leaving it 3-1 to the Sils.
In the second half, as the heat started to tell, Dave Bayliss stood strong at the back repelling attack after attack whilst Frankie Levey and Samantha Copper pressed the Deeside defence in return, but it would be Deeside who would score next from a penalty corner.
As the game entered the later stages both sides fought hard with the title at stake resulting in plenty of robust challenges and scrappy play all over the pitch.
However, it was a moment of pure genius from Tom Mallet put the game out of the Ramblers’ reach.
Picking the ball up in his own defensive quarter he powered down the left wing beating three players on his way into the circle where he proceeded to beat two more defenders and the keeper to slot home what was the goal of the tournament.
With time running out Deeside threw everything at the Sils and managed to claw a scruffy goal back, but it was to be Dan Sulway’s day as he stepped up to get his hat-trick from another penalty corner with only two minutes remaining to make it 5-3.