Welwyn Garden City hockey skipper delighted with highest points tally for decade
After finishing the season with their highest points tally for a decade, WGC Hockey Club’s men’s captain Dan Klinger was delighted with the campaign.
WGC ended fifth in the East Men’s League Division 3SW table with 41 points from 22 matches.
Klinger told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I am thrilled about how this season has gone, we got over 40 points which is the first time in over a decade, we had a small but tight knit squad that found a formula that worked for us.
“We won a number of games with sheer will and determination and we are all pleased for a few months off now and plan to come back just as strong for next season.”
Although the season was a success, it did come to an end with a disappointing 4-2 derby loss at Stevenage on Saturday.
Stevenage took the lead after being fortunate to be awarded a penalty corner following a fine diving tackle by Pete Mullens.
From the corner, a strike was deflected high and wide of the goal, but somehow deflected again into the top corner.
This woke Welwyn up and Rob Sansom and Bryn Evans looked dangerous in attack and Jens Van Helden showed excellent skill including a backwards aerial over his own head.
Welwyn’s equaliser came after a ball from outside the D was left by the Stevenage keeper only for the ball to hit the post and roll across the face of goal for Evans to tap in making it 1-1 at half-time.
The second half started with Stevenage putting pressure on the back line of Neil Kirby, James Lutrario, Stuart Stephen, Simon Walker and Mullens.
Man of the match Klinger, in the Welwyn goal, was called into action on many occasions and pulled off a string of saves.
However, Stevenage scored a second and third goal in quick succession after some poor clearances from the back.
Shortly after Welwyn pushed forward and were caught out as Stevenage grabbed a fourth.
Welwyn did get one back though Evans, but the season ended with a defeat.
Relegation-threatened Stevenage had more riding on the result than Welwyn who already had one eye on Saturday evening’s club presentation dinner.
At the presentation Mark Skillbeck was voted captain’s, players’ player and club player of the season. Oli Reynolds was top scorer with 24 goals. Unsung hero went to Lutrario and most improved to Evans. International player of the season went to Van Helden.
The mens 1st team also won the club team of the season with Klinger winning men’s captain of the season.
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