Local hockey is mourning the sudden death of Pete Atkins, one of the country’s most inspirational coaches and best loved figures.
It is understood he died several days after suffering a heart attack shortly after having been taken ill on a flight returning from a UK Lions youth hockey tournament in Sardinia.
The 66-year old, who spent his professional career as a maths and PE teacher in Portsmouth, was one of Hampshire’s best known personalities, a true hockey person, dedicated to the game as a past player, coach and umpire.
He played and coached hockey for most of his career, initially at Portsmouth & Southsea, then at City of Portsmouth, where he was a founder member and was a prime organiser of the popular annual Islanders May bank holiday tournament.
Mr Atkins coached county, divisional age groups and England U18 in his heyday and also umpired an England U21 international in the late 80's.
He umpired regularly in the South League and was very popular figure wherever he officiated.
In a moving tribute, England Hockey said: “Pete was bigger than life and a well loved character throughout the hockey world and no more than with the UK Lions.
“He touched many lives of past and present UK Lions players and their parents around the country.
“His love and passion of the game of hockey and his tireless hard work over the years with the UK Lions in growing to what they are today in producing many future international players.
“When we think of Pete, we think of his friendship and inspiration he has given over the years to hockey and UK Lions, and he will be dearly missed by everyone and all those around him.”
During his time as a teacher, he took a Portsmouth comprehensive team to three successive England Hockey national Under-16 finals between 1985 and 1987, and returning home as champions in 1986.
He coached four of the area’s Olympians, including Russell Garcia, a Gold medallist at Seoul, Callum Giles, Richard Smith (London 2012) and goalkeeper Jimi Lewis, in addition to numerous national junior age group players.
Fareham head coach Ben Barnes said: “Pete was unique. His passion and enthusiasm for the game was infectious.”
In a separate tribute, close friend Fareham’s Steve Lemon reflected: “Pete’s belief in players he coached was amazing. He was firm but fair and always willing to sacrifice his own time to get that extra per cent or two out of players.
“He was totally dedicated to the game and loved by all the kids he coached, none more so than the Under-13 lads at Fareham on Friday evenings.
“The local hockey world has been stunned by this terrible news.”
Fareham and Trojans will feature in the opening two matches in England Hockey's Jaffa backed national league Division Two South at Canterbury's Polo Farm headquarters over the weekend January 6/7 2018.
Fareham begin against Southern Counties runners-up Horsham at noon on January 6, while Fleming Park winners Trojans take on Bedford an hour later. The other two sides in the six-club tournament are Bedford and Olton & West Warwicks.
Trojans’ youngsters came close to reaching England Hockey’s Under-18 indoor sixes national finals, bowing out in the South semi-finals to powerful Surbiton at Whitgift School.
They beat Sevenoaks 2-1, Horsham 6-0 and Winchester 5-1 before being held to a goal-less draw by Canterbury and losing by a single goal to Guildford.
The three group wins was sufficient to get them into the last four, but Surbiton, one of the country’s top clubs, beat them 3-1.
“It was a fantastic performance by the lads,” enthused coach Ian Bassett. “There were some seriously good sides at the tournament, with Guildford pipping Surbiton in the final.”
Trojans have qualified for England Hockey’s national Division 2 South indoor super sixes after winning the Southern Counties Championships at Fleming Park.
They beat Chichester (3-2), Croydon (2-0), Horsham (3-1) and Woking (5-2) to join Fareham at Canterbury over the weekend January 5/6 2018.
Trojans’ solitary defeat came with a 3-1 loss to Winchester, but by then they were already certain of topping the six-club league table.
They got off to a flier, going 3-0 up against Chichester through Ben Frost (2) and Ian Bassett before powering to a 5-2 victory over Woking, who lost all of their games.
Bassett, who finished the tournament with seven goals, hit a hat-trick alongside singles by Frost and teenager Toby Dudson.
Bassett added two more goals to his tally as Trojans trimmed Horsham 3-1 before beating Croydon 2-0 (Richard Aves and Bassett) – having survived a barrage of late penalty corners from one-time Team Bath hot-shot Tim Davenport.
“Steve Cole, our veteran goalkeeper, rolled back the years with some superlative saves,” Bassett smiled.
Winchester, runners-up in the county indoor play-offs, had to be satisfied with third place, despite inflicting Trojans’ solitary defeat and thumping Woking 8-2 and Croydon 9-2. But a 2-2 draw with Chichester and a 3-2 defeat to second placed Horsham cost them a qualifying place.
Fareham and Southampton completed their pre-Christmas programmes on a winning note and go into the winter break in healthy mid-table South Women’s League Division 3B positions.
Vicky Field (left), Kate and Laura Ryan scored as Fareham won 3-2 at Wimbledon to go into the shutdown in seventh place, two below Southampton, who completed the double over Lewes, Nat Romain scoring the 1-0 winner from the fourth early penalty corner they city girls forced. The evergreen Linda Dunham was back in goal for Southampton, keeping a clean sheet after a ten-week absence with a broken leg.
Christmas has come early for ten Hampshire students who are celebrating selection for the British Colleges representative hockey teams.
Four of them are from Peter Symonds’ - Toby Dudson, Isaac Hocking and Sam White, along with Holly Downs – while Brockenhurst provide three more selections, among them goalkeeping duo Jez Baker and Ben Rigby.
The boys and girls squads will spend a new year weekend at a Lincoln-based training camp before playing England Under-16s on March 4.
The local youngsters selected are -
Boys: Toby Dudson, Isaac Hocking and Sam White (Peter Symonds), Jez Baker and Ben Rigby (Brockenhurst).
Girls: Lauren MacKenzie (Barton Peveril), Holly Downs (Peter Symonds), Jean Metcalfe (Brockenhurst), Sophie Raymond and Tara Lemon (Portsmouth).
Trojans and Winchester feature in the Southern Counties Indoor Hockey Sixes at Fleming Park on Saturday, the six-team event starting at 10am. The local pair face off in the final tournament match at 3.30pm.
They are up against Chichester, Croydon, Horsham and Woking with the winners and runners-up qualifying for England Hockey’s South Division 2 tournament at Canterbury in early January.
Winchester's scheduled visit to Old Cranleighians and Trojans' home match with Purley Walcountians in the South Premier League were both postponed due to frozen surfaces.
Romsey and Southampton similarly suffered, but their games - unlike Trojans and Winchester who will 'replay' in the new year - have been rescheduled for this Saturday December 16.
The early stages of the Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 mid-table clash between Winchester II and Old Cranleighians, which ended 1-1, boded well for a high scoring game as Winchester opened their account through Stuart Swift following neat interchanges between Andy Winnett and Craig Jeffrey.
That joy proved to be fleeting as Cranleighans responded within five minutes, their centre forward brilliantly controlling a fierce cross and setting himself up with one touch to blast home.
OC's arguably had the best of the remainder of the first half, although Winchester did have two penalty corner opportunities, one of which saw Rory Penrose force a good save,
The second period belonged to Winchester as they banged hard on the Cranleighans defensive doors.
A blend of innaccurate crosses, indifferent touches in front of goal and, most memorably, heroics from the OC's keeper prevented a Winchester win.
Andy Winnett had two bites at the cherry from close range after great work down the right, but the keeper responded brilliantly, send the second attempt over the bar.
Greg Cox looked to have won it for Winchester as the keeper could only deflect his dragflick still goal-ward, but a defender made a great stop waist-height on the line.
Andover thrashed bottom club Addiscombe 7-2
Lou Hopkins scored twice as Southampton repelled a late first half comeback from bottom of the table Worthing to beat their Sussex rivals 5-2 and go into the South Women’s League Division 3B break in a satisfactory mid-table position.
Dominating the first 20 minutes of play Southampton found themselves 2-0 ahead with some slick passing upfront and clinical finishing from Lou Hopkins & Nat Romain.
“Sadly, the rest of the half was a little disappointing and it allowed Worthing some break away chances which eventually resulted in them drawing level five minutes from the half time whistle,” reflected virus hit Sue Merry, who watched from the touchline.
Fortunately, this setback seemed to kick start Southampton’s drive and desire and Lou Hopkins (pictured) slotted in her second of the match to take Southampton into half time 3-2 ahead.
The second half was very one sided and Southampton were unlucky not to score more than they did with several last ditch saves on the line and the Worthing ‘keeper keeping them at bay also.
They did manage to find the back of the net twice more though Jen Wagstaff scoring the fourth with the fifth being scored by Lynsay Smith from a tight angle.
Merry added: “It was a good team performance against what could have been a banana skin team if Southampton hadn’t maintained their desire and discipline.”
Fareham ladies forced a creditable goal-less draw at Teddington, but Trojans were frozen off against visiting Surbiton at Stoneham lane.
Back (from left): Luke Gould, Ed Faherty, Martin Gough, Rory Kemp, Christian Mckenna, George Davey, Kieran Paige, Nick Knight, Colin Bradbury (coach). Front: Paul Metcalf, Phil Larcombe, Zac Way, Fergus Jackson, Jamie Young.
Fareham seconds go into the winter break fifth in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 – a position that would have been two places higher had they managed to hold on to a 2-1 lead and not concede a late equaliser against Haslemere at Henry Cort.
Fareham took the initiative and, after both Luke Gould and Paul Metcalf had gone close, took the lead with a well worked goal, set up by Ed Faherty and finished off by Kieran Page.
They held their advantage until the final play of the first half when Josh Cowell converted a penalty corner for Haslemere.
Fareham restored their lead through Gould (who hit the crossbar shortly before), but after both sides had exchanged saved penalty corners, Haslemere grabbed a second equaliser three minutes from time through Andy Powell after some excellent creative work outside the D by Cowell.
A late goal by Chris Davey, his second of the tie, enabled Fareham to turn a 2-1 half-time deficit into a 3-2 win over Winchester in England Hockey’s new Tier 1 Championships.
Glazing technician (aka window cleaner) Davey (pictured) scored both his goals in the second half as Fareham’s young side twice came from behind at Kings’.
Winchester took a first half lead from a well worked short corner routine converted by Craig Sims but saw their advantage cancelled out when Fareham, after an undistinguished period of hockey, levelled from a penalty stroke.
Jamie Rawlings converted the flick, awarded after his own shot, from a penalty corner melee, had been blocked on the line.
But Winchester reasserted their control and deservedly restored their lead just before the break with a freak goal – a shot from James Pauley deflecting off a Fareham player and catching the handle of Kent Langridge’s stick before flying into the net.
Fareham, who included four schoolboys among eight under 20-year old player in what was effectively a development squad, regrouped at half-time.
It took only a matter of minutes before Scotsman Christian McKenna swept down the right and laid on an equaliser for Chris Davey, who made it 2-2.
Winchester twice saw efforts cleared off the line before Fareham hit them with a late counter-attack – Luke Cornish creating a circle insertion before feeding George Davey to lay on the winner for his elder brother.
Winchester threw a kicking-back into the mix in the latter stages, but their last ditch pressure went unrewarded.
Back (from left): George Davey, Chris Davey, Danny Rawlings, Jamie Rawlings, Christian McKenna, Kieran Page, David Andersson, Rory Kemp, Fergus Jackson. Front: Luke Cornish, Jamie Young, Tom Larcombe, James Seager, Jac Way, Will Jones, Philip Larcombe.
Back (from left): Heather Batten, Daisy Strange, Jess Lea, Jenny Peebles, Rachel Robertson, Jill Tombs, Cat Horn, Pip Stewart, Mel Insall. Front: Freyja Haigh, Charlotte Steinbrecher, Emma Teague, Rebecca Treharne, Gill Adams, Imogen Lea, Kat Petch.
Trojans ladies are more than happy to gaze at the Investec England Women’s Hockey West Conference table for the next two months as they will be topping the log, at least until February 3 when they visit the South Midlands to play Olton & West Warwicks.
The Stoneham girls have won eight of their ten games so far but, alongside Reading (0-1), they are second side to beat them in the autumn.
“To be top at the winter break is a fantastic achievement and underlines the tremendous work the girls have put it, both in training and on the pitch,” smiled skipper Jenny Peebles.
“We start our indoor programme soon, but everything will be geared up to starting our programme on a positive note in February.
“Qualifying for the play-offs is our goal, but there’s a lot of work to be done before we can achieve that.”
Winchester ended a winless five-match run and hoisted themselves to sixth place in South League Premier Division 1 after a 6-3 beating of bottom side Henley at Kings’.
They scored three unanswered goals either side of half-time, before Henley launched a late rally and clawed three back.
Mark Maunsell, Micah Smithard and Kevin Langridge gave Winchester a 3-0 half-time cushion, which they doubled after the break.
Langridge and Smithard scored the fourth and sixth goals, either side of a strike by Peter Symonds’ College student Isaac Hocking.
Rhys Joyce (2) and Johnny Taylor replied for Henley in the later stages.
Trojans, meanwhile, took a 6-0 beating at London Academicals and need to beat bottom club Purley Walcountians at Stoneham Lane on Saturday (1.30) to keep themselves out of Premier 2 danger zone going into the winter break.
Southampton enjoyed their most successful weekend so far, securing valuable Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 points by beating Romsey 2-1 before knocking Winchester II out of the England Hockey Tier 2 Cup.
Some fine work by John White created an opening for Simon Watson to give Southampton the lead in the basement battle with Romsey.
Lukas Drumm doubled Southampton’s lead, but when Romsey pulled a goal back the Sports Centre hosts were forced to cling on.
Drumm, the German striker, scored twice in Southampton’s nervy 4-2 cup win over Winchester, who fought back from 3-1 down before losing 4-2.
Drumm, Joe Barber and Josh Wright scored the opening three goals for Southampton, with Stuart Swift on target with a rebound for Winchester.
Teenager James Lander got Southampton back into the game, but a superb penalty stroke save by Toby Rigby from Swift prevented a Winchester equaliser. Drumm’s second late goal clinched Southampton’s 4-2 win.
Luke Gould scored twice, but goalkeeper Rory Kemp (pictured) was arguably man-of-the-match as Fareham seconds pulled off a creditable 3-1 win over third-placed Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 rivals Basingstoke at Henry Cort.
Paul Metcalfe gave Fareham the lead, which Gould doubled before the break – but Basingstoke were constantly repelled by Kemp’s saves.
Will Jewkes pulled a goal back for Basingstoke after the break but Gould’s seventh goal of the season clinched Fareham’s sixth win in ten games.
Winchester seconds nearly pulled off an unlikely result against Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 leaders London Edwardians, eventually losing 3-2.
Indeed they opened the scoring in the first five minutes when Stuart Swift slid in to deflect home Adam Major's cross after a surging solo run.
Edwardians then slipped comfortably into their accustomed mode of sharp inter-passing and rapid off the ball movement to dominate the rest of the first half, scoring twice in the process, the first a knock in from close range after a right sided attack and the second when a solo runner was allowed to advance unchallenged into the "D". Winchester still had the odd moment, Greg Cox crashing his drag flick against the post, but they also showed some counter-attacking success against a slightly suspect Edwardians defence.
Buoyed by limiting the home team to a one goal difference, Winchester felt they could find a way back into the game and the second half proved to be completely different to the first.
Despite a raft of substitutes against Winchester's one, Edwardians seems to tire and it was Winchester who became the aggressors for the last thirty minutes with Ed Player, Cox and Craig Jeffrey now bossing midfield.
Unfortunately, within a few minutes of the restart, Winchester conceded a sloppy goal which made their recovery gradient higher, but they then set up a series of chances to secure some sort of result.
With plenty of time remaining, Craig Jeffrey forced his way along the byeline from the left and sent a ball past the stranded keeper.
The Edwardian's keeper, a spectator for much of the first half, was called upon a number of times, including a full stretch stick save from Cox to his right.
Winchester's keeper, Callum Johnstone, also had to make one important save near the end to keep Winchester alive, but they fell just short of the point they probably deserved.
Winchester handed out six of the best to Henley to end a barren run of five South Hockey League Premier Division 1 matches without a win.
Two goals each by Kent Langridge and Micah Smithard pointed Winchester to a 6-3 victory they achieved having been 3-0 up at half-time.
But neighbours Trojans found themselves hit for six in SPL2 at London Academicals.
Luke Gould scored twice in Fareham II’s 3-1 win over Basingstoke in Hants/Surrey Regional 1.
Premier Division 1
Winchester 6 (Langridge 2, Smithard 2, Hocking, Maunsell) Henley 3.
London Academicals 6 Trojans 0
Hants/Surrey Regional 1
Fareham 3 (Gould 2, Metcalf) Basingstoke 1, Havant 3 (Simmonds 2, Botina) Reigate Priory 6, Wimborne Wayfarers 4 (Butterfield, Clark, Eveleigh, Harvey) Barnes 1
London Edwardians 3 Winchester II 2, Southampton 2 Romsey 1.
South League Division 2
East Grinstead 4 Trojans 1
Fareham 2 Eastbourne 1, Tulse Hill & Dulwich 2 Southampton 0.
Two derbies at Chichester and Winchester light up Sunday's second round ties in England Hockey's new Men's Tier 1 cup competition.
Chichester, with three wins to their credit in the East Conference, host in-form Havant in a tie which sees Matt Cox make a 70-minute return to the West Sussex club. Havant are doing well on their return to the West division and currently lie fourth in the log.
South Premier Division 1 side Winchester aim for a giant killing when Fareham come visiting Kings' School (2pm), but defence pivot Kevin Boniface has a badly broken finger, likely to rule him out of carving his parents' Christmas turkey.
A thumping 4-0 win over Reading has secured top spot in Investec England Hockey West Women’s Conference for Trojans, who go into the winter break with a two-point lead at the top.
They produced arguably their best performance of the season to nail the Berkshire side, who ended Trojans five-match winning start with a 1-0 victory of their own at Sonning Lane last month.
Two goals in each half swept Trojans to a victory that sees them go into the break two-points ahead of Stourport and four over Reading.
“It’s a great physiological position to be in at the halfway stage, but we are not getting ahead of ourselves,” warned captain Jenny Peebles, one of the goal-scorers.
"The team played with determination (against Reading) and had great composure on the ball.
“Despite several injuries, we pulled together to gain a great result and one to be proud of.
“The team is focused and enjoying the hockey - which mirrors the results and impact our new coach David Rutherford has made.”
Trojans intended to make a statement against Reading – and did just that after taking a penalty corner lead inside the opening 90 seconds.
Jill Toombs rifled the ball into the roof of the Reading net after some neat short corner inter-play.
It was important that Trojans extended their lead while they were bossing the game and they did just that with 20 minutes on the clock.
The goal emerged from a messy period of play, which saw Bex Treharne and Heather Batten create an opening for the unmarked Laura Anning to make it 2-0.
Imo Lea went close for Trojans before Reading launched a sustained spell of pre-interval pressure, only to see a reverse stick shot from Sophie Shakespeare ruled out.
Midway through the second half Trojans effectively wrapped it up.
Hannah Leigh created the chance, forcing Mila Welch into a partial save – Jenny Peebles gleefully picking up the pieces to make it 3-0.
Two green cards saw Trojans down to nine – Reading changing tact by withdrawing their goalkeeper and gambling with a kicking back.
The ploy didn’t work.
Almost immediately they had ex-Trojans Zoe Gittens yellow carded and, five minutes from time, conceded a fourth from Hannah Leigh.
The victory meant that, in the autumn term, Trojans had beaten both Reading and Stourport 4-0 among their eight wins.
Their West programme resumes on February 3 with a visit to Olton & West Warwicks, the other team alongside Reading to have beaten them thus far.
Kieran Malloy scored twice and Micah Smithard once in Winchester’s 3-3 draw at South Premier League Division 1 rivals Indian Gymkhana.
Winchester, who host Henley on Saturday, will be without defence icon Kevin Boniface, with a badly broken finger, until the new year.
Stuart Swift hit a hat-trick in Winchester II’s 7-0 mauling of Regional Division 2 bottom side Addiscombe. Romsey lost 4-1 to Camberley & Farnborough and Southampton 5-3 at Andover.
Dan Ferrier converted a penalty corner on the hour-mark to give Trojans a welcome 2-1 win over Staines in an error strewn South Premier League Division 2 affair at Stoneham Lane.
Trojans had earlier seen a Ben Cole goal – a rebound from a Ben Frost shot – cancelled out by James Chapman, who converted a disputed penalty stroke equaliser for the visitors.
Trojans squandered several chances before Ferrier got their winner – but had an escape in the final play when Staines hit Steve Cole’s crossbar.
Fareham were left to rue a catalogue of missed first half opportunities as they allowed Olton & West Warwicks to wipe out a two-goal deficit and force a late 3-3 draw at Henry Cort.
They looked in command on the back of goals by Alex Boxall and Chris Davey, but despite restoring their lead through Kieran Page’s maiden national league goal, were hit by an Olton sucker pinch equaliser four minutes from the end.
“The first half was a very dominant performance but again, we lacked the killer touch to score more goals,” sighed frustrated Fareham boss Ben Barnes.
“"We pressed well, but we did not inject our three penalty corners accurately enough, which cost us.
"A fair scoreline at half-time would have been 5-0, which is something an Olton player said after the game."
“But they deserved to get back into it in the second half as we stopped playing our style of hockey."
Fareham were one-up inside eight minutes and, but for a series of fine saves by Alex Cook, might have had more than a second by Davey to enhance Barnes’s half-time team talk.
Olton weren't finished, however, and made their physical presence known in the second half as they sought to knock Fareham off their stride.
Indeed, as the game became more fractious, the Midlands side grew into the game and managed to convert a penalty corner through defender Chris Beck.
They then equalised through a 56th minute strike by Martin Ebbage.
As the game became stretched, Kieran Page (pictured above) scored his maiden West Conference goal with a sweetly-struck reverse stick effort.
The goal seemed to have won it for the home side, but Olton had the last laugh.
Having won a penalty corner directly from the restart, they worked the ball around the circle for Dan Sulway to push it high over the on-rushing George Harris in the Fareham goal.
Performance Director Ben Barnes was frustrated with the result, and felt his team should have got the three points.
"I felt we deserved to win. Niall Stott had an influential game, and I'm delighted that Kieran Page got his first National League goal.
"But ultimately, it was a frustrating final result." he added.
Page also hit the mark in Fareham II’s 4-3 defeat at Croydon, where George Davey and Luke Gould were also on target.
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