Sudbury claim East Men's Hockey League title on dramatic last day for Chris Smith's side at Great Cornard
‘Delirium broke out’ – that’s how Chris Smith described the moments after delivering the news that Broxbourne slipped up at home to his Sudbury team-mates in the centre circle at full-time on Saturday.
The men’s first team had gone into the final round of fixtures in East Men’s League Division 1 knowing they could make their promotion to East Premier B all the more sweeter by making club history by getting their hands on the title, but only if they could better the leaders’ result.
In a stylish last 20 minutes in front of their biggest crowd of the season at Great Cornard, they turned a 2-1 nervy scoreline against Crostyx into a 7-1 thrashing. And as promised, joint captain and goalkeeper Smith had kept their minds focused on just their game before giving them the good news, a 3-2 win for third-placed Old Southendian at Broxbourne.
He said: “I think there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning!
“It was amazing. We had a really good crowd and our Ladies IIs got promoted in the morning, so it was a good club day.”
Describing how things unfolded at the final whistle, he said: “We had them all gathered round in the centre-circle at the end of the game and we wanted to thank the supporters (first) as a lot of family and friends had come down, and I broke the news to the squad and there was a bit of delirium and excitement and a real sense of achievement.
“We had set our stall out at the start of the year to get promoted and win the league, and despite a wobble after Christmas where we dropped points, that is what we managed to do.”
Will Chrystal and Brendan Mayers both netted for a 2-0 lead at the break before Crostyx pulled one back.
But this only served to kick-start four more goals: a penalty stroke from player-of-the-match Adam Bullock and three more from Chrystal to take his season tally to 48. He shared the player of the season award with Dean Hodgson.