Hockey: Tunbridge Wells win first Kent Cup after beating Marden

Hockey: Tunbridge Wells win first Kent Cup after beating Marden
James Wattenbach, Ant Dalrymple, Connor Poulain, James Harris, Aaron Leadbeater, James Beck, Russell Self, Kyle Mathieson, Ben Brandt, Keir Starley, Nate Webster, Chris Smith, James Lester, Oli Woodcock, Ben Allberry, Cam Green, Sam George, Jack French

TUNBRIDGE WELLS Men won the Kent Cup final for the first time in the club’s history with a hard-earned win against a determined Marden at Holcombe Park on Sunday [May 19].

They made a lightning start, carving out three chances in the first five minutes.

Wells had the majority of possession and worked hard to create clear-cut opportunities with Connor Poulain running the midfield.

Every time Sam George collected the ball it looked as though something would happen, and after 15 minutes he broke through the inside left channel to square for Ant Dalrymple to tap in.

The slender lead meant Marden were always in the game, but Wells’ persistence paid off as George’s skill again troubled the Marden defence, forcing a penalty corner.

Ben Allberry’s strike was well saved, but Green followed up to fire into the roof of the net and give Wells the all important two-goal cushion.

BEND IT LIKE BECK: Man of the match James Beck scores Wells’ third

Good work from James Lester and George again saw Wells win a further penalty corner and player of the match James Beck made it 3-0.

But Marden had not given up, and a misplaced defensive clearance soon afterwards allowed a quick one-two on the edge of the Wells circle before a Marden striker finished with a fine strike into the roof of the net.

The Russets’ hopes of a come-back were quickly stifled, however, as Kyle Mathieson and George again combined down the Wells left.

The ball was passed to Allberry in front of goal and he made no mistake to make the score 4-1 and ensure Wells took home the trophy.

There was double cup success on finals day as Wells Under-14 Boys beat Folkestone 2-0 to win the Kent Championships, the goals coming from Mackaye Crawford and Finn Page.

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