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Redbridge teams seeking to secure spot in national finals at Lee Valley

PUBLISHED: 11:30 20 March 2015

Redbridge are into the semi-finals (pic: Graham Hodges)

Redbridge are into the semi-finals (pic: Graham Hodges)

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Nick Haslam of the second team has match to remember

Two of Redbridge & Ilford’s teams will be going for glory on Sunday as they chase final places in national competitions.

The men’s first team take on Crawley in the NOW: Pensions Vase semi-final, while Redbridge’s over-35 women take on Hertford in the Investec Shield.

And the winners go through to the finals at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

Unfortunately neither could warm up for their big ties by winning in the league last weekend.

The men suffered a 2-1 reverse to Wapping’s fourth team, despite Andy Pearce finding the net.

But the second team did record a victory as Nick Haslam’s brace helped them edge past Old Southendians.

Haslam’s strikes made the victory all the more sweeter as, despite this being his 10th season of hockey for Redbridge, they were the first goals he has ever scored for the club.

On finally breaking his duck after such a long wait Haslam said: “Time seemed to slow as I watched the ball float over the keeper.

“I’ve often thought about what my goal celebration would be if I ever managed to score, but in the end I was so surprised I think I just shouted like a lunatic!

“Then like buses, after such a long wait, two came along at once. I just wish I’d had time to buy a lottery ticket.”

Jim Lawton and Chris Giddens were on target for the third team, but Wapping sevenths were able to achieve a 3-2 win.

The men’s academy side had more success for Redbridge in a poor weekend for most of their teams.

Ben Kearin, Ian Rawlinson, Archie Williams and Owen de Graaf all scored to help beat Romford thirds 4-1.

Like the men’s first team, the women’s firsts didn’t have the best preparation for their national cup tie this weekend.

Although Tanya Hurst was on target, they slipped to a 3-1 loss against Burnt Ash.

The seconds did pick up a victory, though, as they edged a six-goal thriller with Waltham Forest thirds.

Marisa Beer’s brace and further strikes from Emma Smith and Esther Reed helped Redbridge triumph.

But the women’s third team were soundly beaten 2-0 by Chelmsford fifths.


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