HOCKEY: Grantham club celebrate final season – for now

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Grantham Hockey Club may have played their last league match for the foreseeable future but that was not going to stop them giving the 2015-16 campaign a suitable send-off at their end-of-season dinner on Saturday.

With no pitch available for the coming season, the decision to exit from the East League was a formality, and duly ratified at the annual meeting which preceded the dinner.

However, rather than fold completely, the club has been mothballed in the hope that if a pitch becomes available locally in the future a return to regular hockey will be on the cards.

Despite a difficult season, the club managed to finish in seventh place in the league and celebrated some fine performances, including wins over Louth, and Alford and District, plus draws against Bourne Deeping and Spalding.

A final 3-0 win away at Alford on the final day of the season saw the team close out their year with their heads held high.

At the awards ceremony, held at the Angel and Royal Hotel, George Lodge was named as the Young Player of the Year, Neil Baldwin the Player’s Player and David Braunton the Captain’s Player.

In a break from tradition, club chairman David Sykes then gave the Chairman’s Award to the entire committee for their work in keeping the club going during trying circumstances.

The floor was then offered up for members new and experienced to share their memories of playing for the club, which resulted in some great stories, plenty of laughter and a final toast to a club that, throughout its 109-year existence, has become something of a second family to many in and around the town.