SUDBURY Hockey Club, led by chairman Jim Carnegie, welcomed a visiting team from Dutch hockey club Sint-Oedenrode for a two-day visit that included a masterclass from former England indoor player Paul Golding.
The visitors played their first match against a mixed team from Great Cornard Upper School (GCUS).
The skilful Dutch finished well and were 3-0 up at the break, but a slight change of personnel and increased energy levels after half-time meant that the home team had the better of the second half.
The final score was 4-1 to the visitors, but GCUS could have pinched it were it not for some excellent work by the Dutch keeper. Daisy Palmer in defence was GCUS’s standout player.
This match was followed by an indoor hockey session. The Sudbury side played some excellent hockey and ran out 5-0 winners.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the visitors faced a sterner test against Sudbury Hockey Club’s under-16 boys.
Sudbury were more skilful in almost every position and had the two outstanding players on the pitch in Will Dudley and Will Fisher, who were a cut above anything the visitors could offer.
Sudbury were dominant for the whole game and although the Dutch fought hard they were showing the effects of a busy schedule.
They never seriously troubled the home side, who ran out 5-0 winners, with goals from Will Fisher (two), Dan Birch, Calum Rolfe and Ed Matthews. Keeper Sam Smith, in his first appearance at this level, impressed.
The game was again followed by an indoor lesson given by former England indoor player Paul Golding.
The teams for the following game were a mixture of both clubs, which further cemented the friendship between the two sets of boys.
In between matches, the 13 young Dutch players and five accompanying adults had the chance to take in the sights of Sudbury, including meeting mayor Jack Owen, a tour of the Town Hall and Sudbury’s heritage trail and a swim at the Kingfisher Leisure Pool. The visitors camped on Sudbury Rugby Club’s ground in tents supplied by the Air Training Corps.