Posted by: Richard Frost | 9 Apr 2020

Hatfield College Hockey Club tournament review

Logo for Durham University's student newspaper PalatinateOriginal publication date: May 2005
Outlet: Palatinate

Hatfield’s hockey team triumph against the odds

Hatfield College Hockey Club emphatically staked their claim as the best college hockey side in Durham – by winning a national intercollegiate cup!

Ahead of a crucial domestic title decider, they recorded a morale-boosting triumph at the expense of domestic college league winners from as far away as Oxford and Cambridge. But this incredible achievement was far from a stroll in the park for the Hatfielders, as they overcame a string of setbacks to win the cup.

Hatfield did remarkably well to qualify in second during the initial phase of the cup. In a hotly contested competition, the battling Hatfielders had seemingly surpassed themselves.

As it turned out, greater triumphs lay just over the horizon, yet the road to the final looked a long, long way off as the Durhamites were pitted against a powerful Cambridge side. Winners of the Cambridge college league, their hard-hitting opponents’ well-executed gameplan was complemented by a level of flair that could easily have overpowered and overawed Hatfield.

However, the boys from the Bailey rose to the task admirably in a predictably intense battle. Hatfield’s goalscoring heroes were Xab Reynoso and Duncan Odds as they recorded a 2-0 victory over the Cambridge giants. But the exploits of key player Odds would soon be overshadowed by some even more heroic performances in the final.

Squad photo of the 2005 Hatfield College Hockey Club at Durham University

Hatfield were on a high and the impending final received added spice by the qualification of their local rivals. While some sports fans could have been forgiven for thinking Liverpool v Chelsea in the Champions League was the ultimate battle for domestic pride, we were about to go one better: Hatfield would be taking on holders Queen’s Campus Hockey Club in the cup final to decide, once and for all, whether Durham or Stockton was the pride of Durham University.

There could be only one winner. Sadly for Durham-lovers, Hatfield promptly fell 1-0 down. It was clearly time for Hatfield’s first heroic moment of the match. Step forward Louis Parkinson, who had never even played hockey before! But the shock inclusion justified his place on the biggest stage possible as he slotted in the equaliser, only for personal glory to be snatched away as Stockton took command again. 2-1 and full-time was looming. However, Duncan Odds returned to upset the odds again and slot home a last-minute equaliser.

Extra time was inevitable, forcing inspirational captain Joe Walton to rally his troops with visions of another unlikely victory. And it was the Durhamites who kept their concentration, making the most of their set-piece dominance.

But the scorer was a surprise as another hero emerged ready-made in the form of Sam Bide. Slotting home two penalty flicks, Bide finished off Queen’s Campus to become the toast of Hatfield. A 4-2 victory for the Durham team then, and Hatfield had done more than enough to merit their trophy.

However, they’ll have to go easy on the celebrations for now at least. Following on from their unexpected victory, Hatfield will be looking to complete a league and cup double at the weekend. The cup winners will take on Van Mildert in a titanic college league title decider on Sunday, 8th May 2005.


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