Biggest Cup weekend in club history coming up
CoPHC have slipped quietly through the rounds of the Cup this year, dispatching locals Bourne Deeping in round 1, getting a walkover against Norwich City who didn’t fancy the trip in round 2, and then running out comfortable 5-1 winners against Henley in round 3.
The quarter finals have thrown up a tie which offers a distinct possibility of making the semi-finals, with a trip to Banbury HC in Oxfordshire.
Banbury play at the same level as CoP in the South Premier league and are a couple of places above CoP’s last victims, Henley. However, they have impressively dumped 3 England Hockey League sides out of the competition already this year, and their league form which has been patchy, hit a new high last week with a fine win over current league leaders Havant, who are favourites to return from the South to the EHL this season. Coupled with this run of form, Banbury also boast the league’s second top scorer Harry Loxton who is scoring at almost 1.5 goals a game.
CoP however have been scoring goals from all over the park, and having only lost 1 game in their last 11 games, are happy that they go into the game in their best possible form. Manager Graham Finding knows coach, Holcombe star Gareth Andrew, has made his squad is one of the fittest in the East and boasts several players with great pace who have been troubling defences all year.
A coachload of supporters will be travelling with the team to Banbury for the game. Club chairman Jane Wilson is very proud both of the achievement of the team in reaching this stage of the competitionfor the first time, and of the great travelling support from the club. “We haven’t taken a bus to a Cup game before so it was great to see people who sometimes don’t see much of a Sunday morning making the effort to join us for an early start. We even have someone who has flown over from Australia for the match as our midfield maestro, Aussie Robbie Muir, has persauded his Dad to come and join us! We know it’s going to be a very tight game as Banbury are in the same situation as ourselves in reaching this stage, and they have home advantage, but the boys are up for it and it should be a great game of hockey for everyone”.
In a touch of irony, both sides have league games against Dark Blue opposition on Saturday for warm up. CoP take on former EH rivals Ipswich in what will be another close game, whilst Banbury take on the real Dark Blues of Oxford University.
There are still a couple of spaces on the bus if anyone wants to squeeze in at the last minute – contact Jane WIlson if you wish to join the fun.