Russets Ripe for Promotion
Marden Russets Mens 1s
Marden Russets Mens 5s
The 2018/2019 hockey season provided an opportunity for Marden village and its hockey club, Marden Russets HC to showcase its new facilities and coaching program.
Russets entered a 5th Men’s team in the Kent League this season and they played in Kent Division 4. The team helped accommodate a large influx of players for the ever-growing numbers at Marden Russets HC.
Russets employed two full-time coaches for the season to help bring more success. Gaspard Clin was hired to coach the Men's 1st XI, with guidance and support from Stephen Mina-Jones who was hired to run the hockey program for the entire club.
During the first half of the season, it was clear that all teams had started to benefit from the coaching strategies with 5 out of 8 teams placing in the top half of their leagues. This included the Men's 1s (2nd), Men's 2s (4th), Men's 5s (1st), Ladies’ 1s (5th) and Ladies’ 2s (1st), while the Men's 3s, Men's 4s and Ladies’ 3s were placed just outside the top half of their leagues. Bar a few wayward games, they (Men's 3s, Men's 4s and Ladies’ 3s) played some competitive hockey and could not quite finish their chances, rarely going down by more than two goals.
The second half of the season started how we finished it with many strong performances, most notably from the Ladies’ 1s, Ladies’ 3s and Men's 3s, who started to gain momentum.
The Men's 1s had a nightmare return after the break, losing to South Saxons 4-3 in their opening return match. Thankfully the week before, South Saxons had also toppled the league leaders, Ashford. Their (Men's 1s) second game was the top of the table clash, as Marden Russets hosted Ashford. A 2-2 deadlock could not be broken by either team. The team continued their success and benefitted from a couple of upsets towards the end of the season, especially as they lost to Canterbury 3s, which could have cost them promotion. Thankfully they were able to see out the season, finished 2nd and sealed promotion for the 2019/2020 season. They will now try to win the Kent Cup with a semi-final clash against Gore Court on April 6th and hopefully a finals appearance in May.
The Ladies’ 2s, who were seeking their third promotion in four years, had a false start going down to Folkestone Ladies’ 3s. This opened the door for BEHC Ladies’ 3s and K Sports Ladies’ 1s to close the gap. Then in the fourth to last game, they dropped points again. This put BEHC within 1 point of the Ladies 2s and K Sports within 2 points. It came down to the last game to decide the league champions. It was a must win for the Ladies’ 2s team, and they did it in style, running out 6-1 winners over Maidstone Ladies’ 3s. Thank you to both Hayden Judd and Tom Henson for their hard work with this team over the season.
A game in hand due to the February snow storm gave the Men's 5s a slight chance to win the league. It was a stroke of luck that, Old Bordenians Men's 5s couldn't manage to defeat Folkestone Men's 8s in their last game. This meant that if the Men’s 5s could defeat that same Folkestone team they would be champions. The Men's 5s took a leaf out of the Ladies’ 2s’ book and won the game 7-3.
It has been a successful and enjoyable season across the senior section. A very appreciative thank you must be given to all the captains and umpires for all their support and hard work to help make this club what it is.
It is pleasing to say that all teams finished mid-table or higher. We look forward to continuing this in the 2019/2020 season.
- Ladies 1s - 5th place (Kent Premier League)
- Ladies 2s - Champions (Kent Division 3)
- Ladies 3s - 7th place (Kent Division 5)
- Men's 1s - 2nd place (Kent/Sussex Regional 2 League)
- Men's 2s - 4th place (Kent Open Premier A League)
- Men's 3s - 7th place (Kent Open Premier C League)
- Men's 4s - 6th place (Kent Division 2)
- Men's 5s - Champions (Kent Division 4)