COUNTY KINGS: Spalding 1st are pictured (back, from left) – Harry Williams, Harry Vickers, Glenn Richardson, Joe Rogers, James Grant, Michael Morris, Ashley Barker; front – Sam Sly, Sam Howitt, Robert Dalton, Stuart Cunnington (captain) Tom Everton and Nathan Davy (GK). Pictured in the middle, between the rows, is manager Graham Allen. Missing are Josh Rowbottom, Connor Allen, Matt Sanders, Matt Day, Mark Riley, Josh Olphin and Brendan Morris.

Spalding Hockey Club’s men cap historic season by winning county crown

Having already sealed a first-ever promotion to East Men’s Hockey League Premier A, red-hot Spalding 1st added the Lincolnshire Cup to their trophy cabinet on Sunday.

They beat neighbours Bourne Deeping 3-1 in a tense penalty shuttle shoot-out after a thrilling final, with the scores locked level at 4-4 at Glen Park.

Bourne Deeping, who have gained promotion to Premier B for next season, started the stronger in baking hot conditions.

Spalding were under considerable pressure for the opening period and found themselves two goals down after ten minutes.

The home side bounced back and Joe Rogers reduced the arrears with a neatly taken penalty.

However, Bourne Deeping then worked the ball around well in midfield and made it 3-1 with a well-placed shot.

Once again, Spalding responded and a mazy run from Rogers ended with a neat pass to Michael Morris to turn in at the far post to make it 3-2 at the interval.

End-to-end play was the order of the day in the opening period of the second half, but Bourne Deeping stretched their lead once again after ten minutes.

Amazingly, Spalding reacted with a goal of their own with Sam Sly diving bravely to turn the ball past the advancing keeper to make it 4-3.

Glenn Richardson had an effort well saved and a cheeky lob from Morris went close to getting the equaliser as Spalding pushed forward.

The visitors were dangerous on the break, but Sam Howitt and James Grant stood firm in the home defence.

Then, with just seven minutes remaining, Stuart Cunnington rifled home a short corner to bring the scores level at 4-4.

In the Olympic style penalty shuttle, Spalding’s young keeper Nathan Davy, who played most of the season with the club’s 3rd team, was outstanding.

He made three superb saves despite having broken a finger during the game.

Cunnington, Harry Williams and Joe Rogers scored for Spalding, with just the one reply from Bourne Deeping to clinch the title for the second time in three years.

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