Wapping men bow out of National League
PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 March 2017
Second string promoted; women secure best finish
Wapping’s men slipped out of the National League after a 4-2 home defeat against Indian Gymkhana in their final match of the season.
The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead in 20 minutes, before player of the match Ben Bull hit back from a well-worked short corner.
Bull added a second with 20 minutes left, with a neat reverse-stick finish, but further chances were kept out by Gymkhana’s triple Olympian keeper Simon Mason, before a late fourth goal confirmed Wapping’s return to East Premier A.
Coach Ryan D’Souza said: “I’m very proud of the efforts of all members in my squad. The step up to National League level has been just too much for us on this occasion, but we’ve stuck together throughout and maintained a positive and fun environment.
“We’ve learned a huge amount this season and developed a young squad, with the majority of players under 25.
“We’re confident we can bounce back sooner rather than later. It’s two steps forward and one step back, remembering that we were playing three divisions below National League not so long ago.
”Despite the frustrations of this season, our long-term trajectory is on track.”
Chairman Stuart Burnside added: “It has been an interesting experiment, testing what we need to compete at the national level.
“While relegation for any of our teams is a setback, it doesn’t feel like a step back. The club continues to surge forwards.
“With six potential promotion contenders this year, that could put us on 24 in just three years.”
The seconds ended their East Division One campaign as champions after beating Harleston Magpies by a 4-2 margin.
Captain Charley Wright, Oli Watts, Dylan Holman and Dan Chamberlain moved the ball around well at the back, as Ed Fry combined with Jason Black going forwards, and Wapping opened the scoring on 10 minutes when Holman fired home his first goal for the club.
Coach Steven Turner enjoyed a rare appearance and saw Michael Bolle’s short corner parried to Alan Traill for the second goal, before Bolle marked his final appearance after eight years with number three.
Magpies hit back from a corner of their own before half time and cut the gap to one when James Bowler was left exposed by a misplaced pass.
But Wapping, after Chamberlain and Fry were shown green cards, held on with nine men and sealed the points when Traill won a corner and Jonny Madill fired home.
*Wapping’s women ended the East Premier season with their highest-ever finish of fourth, despite a 2-1 defeat at St Albans seconds.
The hosts took the lead from an early corner, but Wapping saw Aoife Smyth, Sarah Burke and Lucy Todd combine well with forwards Katelynn Roganowicz and Kate O’Sullivan and Becky Hart dribbled into the D to fire a low shot home to level.
St Albans regained the lead before the break and, despite chances for Kate Sildermann and Jordan Mulvaney, held on for the points as Hannah Gage took Wapping’s player of the match award.