Peterborough 4th 3
RUTLAND Hockey Club Men’s 1st team are champions, sealing the title with two games remaining.
They have dominated the East League’s 3NW division all season, losing only once in their 20 matches played and racking up their 18th win with a 6-3 victory against Peterborough 4th on Saturday.
The nucleus of the side is a group of teenagers who have been developed by the club and Ollie Browne, one of few experienced players in the side said they could go on win successive promotions.
He also praised the dedication of the club’s coaches including Dave Vincent, who died last summer, for laying the foundations for this year’s success.
Browne said: “We have been third for the last three years but knew we would be a better side this year.
“Dave Vincent and Dave Richardson have coached the side for the last five years and it’s really all down to their hard work.
“It’s all because of Saturday schooling at Uppingham Community College where these lads have been coached.”
Rutland will play in Division 2N next season and Browne added: “The quality of hockey has improved over the season and they could go all the way and get promoted each year.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to keep hold of these players because success breeds success.”
Coach Dave Richardson said: “This is a fantastic achievement for this young side that can only get stronger.”
Saturday’s victory was par for the course for Rutland this season, with the home side showing excellent control and skill, moving the ball around and creating chance after chance at Uppingham School’s fields.
It was not long before Scott Perry scored a superb strike into the roof of the net to give Rutland the lead. But Rutland missed chances to extend their lead and Peterborough scored from a short corner to make a game of it.
Just before half time, Rutland broke quickly to get behind the Peterborough defence and Peter Comben beat the keeper for Ollie Browne to tap the ball in.
Rutland did extend their lead in the second half with Jordan Allen scoring but the city side reduced the deficit as Rutland continued to squander excellent chances.
Allen added his second from a narrow angle to restore the two goal lead but again Peterborough pulled themselves back into contention.
Jack Bishop, on his debut, showed superb pace, breaking from the right wing to dummy the keeper and score and finally Perry broke through to seal the 6-3 win.
Men’s East League
Rutland 20 18 1 1 119 26 55
Nomads 2nd 20 15 1 4 60 25 46
Camb Sth 20 13 4 3 46 18 43
Rutland 2nd 20 13 1 6 63 49 40
City Pboro 4th 20 12 2 6 61 35 38
St Ives 2nd 20 7 3 10 35 38 24
Wisbech Tn 3rd 20 7 3 10 31 50 24
Camb City 4th 20 7 1 12 41 57 22
Wisbech Tn 2nd 19 5 3 11 44 54 18
St Neots 20 3 4 13 22 65 13
Horncastle 20 4 1 15 36 96 13
March Tn 2nd 19 2 2 15 29 74 8
Results: St Neots 1 - 1 Cambridge Sth 1; Rutland 6 - 3 City of Peterborough 4th; March 2nd 0 - 2 St Ives 2nd; Wisbech 3rd 0 - 2 Wisbech 2nd; Cambridge City 4th 3 - 0 Horncastle; Cambridge Nomads 2nd 4 - 1 Rutland 2nd.