Three members of Pelicans hockey club represented Norfolk County last weekend in the over 40s East Divisional finals day at the Cambridge University sports ground.
Sean Kerry, Matt Bower and Stuart Olley played against Bedfordshire in the semi-final, who had qualified as runners-up in the southern half of the draw, and Cambridgeshire in the final.
In a tough game against Bedfordshire, Bower in goal, Olley at centre back and Kerry in centre midfield formed the spine of the team and were challenged early on by a quick and skilful Beds attack.
Despite conceding an early goal following a superb piece of individual skill from the Beds left midfield Norfolk created many early chances eventually scoring after Kerry penetrated the Beds “D” winning a short corner which was neatly converted.
Beds lost their legs in the second half and the superior fitness of Norfolk took its toll. Olley, intercepting at the back, passed to Kerry who shifted play out to the right from where the neat cross was eventually bundled over the line to take Norfolk into the lead.
Further quick thinking from the Norfolk midfield then put the result out of sight with a quickly taken free hit catching the Beds defence short in numbers for another tap-in for Norfolk taking them to the final.
After a two-hour wait and creaking with stiffness, Norfolk met Cambridge in the final and once again found themselves behind after a piece of magic by the Cambs centre forward this time.
Once again Norfolk created the better chances going close on several occasions but were unable to level the score before half-time and had Bower to thank for not being further behind.
Olley at centre back ensured that Bower in goal was seldom challenged and was the launch pad for Norfolk’s first goal. His quick free hit released Kerry forward and once again using the outlet right Norfolk squirmed the ball home.
Norfolk’s winner in the second half two minutes from time came from Pelicans’ Kerry who, on the slipped short corner, flicked low and hard left onto the back-board for a well earned and celebrated win by the Norfolk side.