Positive signs for Berko’s teams as new hockey season gets under way

The BHHHC  ladies' first team.
The BHHHC ladies' first team.

It’s been an encouraging start to the young season for many of the Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club’s men’s and ladies’ teams.

After a long off-season, the players were excited to get back out on the pitch on Saturday and certainly a few BHHHC sides staked early claims in their leagues.

Early front-runners include the ladies’ 3rds, who were rampant against West Herts, and the men’s 1sts, who appear to be continuing their yo-yoing between Divisions Two and Three, starting with a comfortably win against Royston following demotion last term.

The ladies’ 1sts, who are an impressive mix of returning and developing juniors, strong new players and some experienced stalwarts, showed their potential in the season-opener with a creditable draw.

The ladies’ 3rds earned a remarkable 7-1 home win at a wet and miserable Meadowcroft over West Werts.

There was an impressive four goals from Terraine Payton as well as one each for player of the match Hannah Whitby, Charlotte Holland and Roseanna Bloxham.

The men’s 1sts started the season with a strong 3-1 win against Royston at Halton.

After going 1-0 down against the run of play, Berko came storming back with goals came from Pete Allam, Will Goodwyn and Larry Eaton.

They travel to Bedford this Saturday.

The ladies’ 1sts threw down the gauntlet to start the season with a hard fight against a very strong Welwyn, whose promotion hopes were ended by Berko at the end of last term.

Welwyn were full of skills but Berko’s fight kept the score line at 1-1. The goal was scored by Abi Lawlor, assisted by Alison Kraft. Player of the match was Sarah Brydon for her tenacious efforts.

The team host Bedford at RAF Halton this Saturday (midday).

The men’s 5ths started the season in uncharacteristic style with a 2-0 win against St Albans. Tim Buckley and Paul Evans netted, with young Josh Hoad being awarded the man of the match plaudits.

The ladies’ 2nds faced Hertford II on a very soggy pitch at RAF Halton and the well-balanced match ended in a 0-0 draw.

An impressive-looking men’s 4ths team made the long trip to play Royston II.

The team included club treasurer Simon Kaye, who was making his return to league hockey after a lengthy absence. It was a tough game against strong opposition, with Berko going down narrowly 1-0.

The men’s 2nds fought hard in the rain but Harpenden came out on top 3-1. It was probably a fair result but Berko did squander several chances. Payton Sr scored Berko’s one goal.

The returning Xavi Bryans suited up for Berko and put in a storming performance.

The club’s other fixtures for this Saturday are as follows:

Men’s 2nds host Blueharts at Tring Sports Centre at 3.15pm; men’s 3rds visit Cheshunt; men’s 4ths host Potters Bar at RAF Halton (4.30pm); men’s 5ths travel to Shefford & Sandy; ladies’ 2nds visit Bishop Stortford; ladies’ 3rds host Saffron Walden at Tring Sports Centre (1.45pm); ladies’ 4ths travel to Milton Keynes.