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Pelicans win in style at Spalding to clinch league title





Spalding 1st 1, Pelicans 1st 4

Runaway leaders Pelicans faced a potentially tricky fixture at Spalding but wrapped the league up with another impressive victory.

Not for the first time this season Pelicans blew their opposition away and got the game as good as won early on. Harry Sampson opened the scoring when he finished off a fine team move with the final pass coming from Jack Major.

Hockey action in the reverse fixture between Pelicans Men's 1st and Spalding Men's 1st earlier in the season
Hockey action in the reverse fixture between Pelicans Men's 1st and Spalding Men's 1st earlier in the season

Almost straight from the re-start it was two when Jacob Craig grabbed his second goal of the season following some good work of his own.

This completely knocked the stuffing out of the home side, who huffed and puffed going forward and rarely troubled Sam Major, Iain Page and Ian Simmons at the back. Likewise, Dan Upton-Jillings had a quiet game in-between the sticks.

Pelicans had further chances to extend their lead before the interval, captain Sam Phillips rattling the crossbar and being denied by a fine save from the Spalding goalkeeper. Phoenix Sherry thought he’d scored his first of the season but this was ruled out.

Any thoughts of a Spalding comeback were put to bed early in the second half when Major finished expertly after good work down the right hand side from Sherry and the impressive Ollie Booth, the youngest member of the squad who has grown immensely across the season. He was named 4Way man of the match.

Further chances fell the way of George Van Aalst, Toby Phillips and Miles Doncaster but again they couldn’t find a way through. Kirwin Christoffels was his usual tenacious self in the middle of the pitch, settling up many an attack but also stopped his fair share too.

The fourth and final goal to secure the league title went the way of centre back Page who has again been an absolute rock at the back. His well struck short corner strike was the cherry on the cake.

Spalding did pull back a late consolation but by then it was too little too late.

Pelicans have the title they’ve craved for after being so near yet so far over the last few seasons, and a return to premier division hockey after almost two decades is on the horizon.

They are now ten points clear of second and travel to Cambridge South on Saturday for their final away game of the season looking to assert their dominance further.



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