05:00PM, Wednesday 18 March 2020
Maidenhead Men’s 1st team saved one of their best performances of the season for last, as they eased to victory at Tulse Hill & Dulwich on Saturday.
David Tyler and Matt Keylock both scored twice in the 4-1 win which came just days before England Hockey announced the suspension of all hockey related activity until at least April 15, effectively bringing their season to a close.
The win means they finish the MBBO Premier Division 2 West campaign as one of the league’s most in-form sides, having picked up 12 of the last 15 points on offer.
Speaking on Monday, before the suspension was announced, captain Chris Brown said ‘they’d made the most of being able to play while they still could’.
“It was a really good win,” he said.
“We talked about this being a good test and an opportunity to show how far we’ve come. It was fantastic to come away with a convincing win.
“It’s certainly up there with our best displays of the season. It was our most complete performance. It had a lot of the hallmarks of things we’ve done all season but we were a lot more clinical.”
Maids raced into a 3-0 goal advantage in the first half and were able to control the tempo of the game from then on. Brown says the players observed the pre-game advice on hygiene and it won’t have come as a complete surprise to him this week to see the rest of the league season cancelled.
“We played some really simple, yet effective hockey,” he said. “We moved the ball really well which we’ve been trying to do. Defensively we were also resilient which is a part of our game that has let us down at times.”
On playing during the current coronavirus crisis, Brown added: “You just hope that England Hockey have the right information and are making the right decisions.
“There was advice given regarding not touching hands and rather touching sticks. Some people had mixed feelings about it, others didn’t seem bothered while some followed it quite closely.
“It did seem a bit silly not shaking hands with someone you’ve been marking closely for extended periods of time. But we don’t want to be in a position where we’re making things worse.”
Maids can look ahead to the new season with real optimism and Brown is hopeful they’ll get to show what they’re all about when they get back to competitive action.
“We must be one of the most in-form teams in the league,” he said.
“We’ve got 12 out of the last 15 points available to us. We were finally producing the consistency of performances that we know we’re capable of and want to take that forward, have a good pre-season, then try and achieve some things next year.
“No one knows what’s going to happen or how things are going to pan out but we’ll try to carry on as best we can and hopefully we’ll have a season ready to start in the autumn.”
Maidenhead’s Women’s 1st team also signed off in style with a crushing 5-2 win over East Grinstead 2nds. Lucy Thornton bagged a brace and Jess Barnes, Sarah Downes and Eddie Westacott were on target in a victory which sees them finish the South Hockey League Division 1 in seventh spot.