Hockey: Authority attacked

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The Independent Online
THE Hockey Association was under attack yesterday, following the withdrawal of Hertfordshire two days before the preliminary round of the Norwich Union Men's County Championship, which starts this weekend at eight venues across the country, writes Bill Colwill.

The withdrawal on Thursday of the three-times winners, because of difficulties in raising a team, again highlights the need for the Hockey Association to rethink its fixture priority list and to avoid injecting unplanned items into the programme.

One furious county manager said last night: 'The withdrawal of a county at this late hour degrades an already downgraded tournament, but I am not surprised. The Hockey Associaiton appears to have no respect for the competition and has made it very difficult for counties.'

In addition, because of a rescheduling of the Royal Bank of Scotland HA Cup semi-final between Reading and Teddington for tomorrow and the inclusion of an England training weekend, Middlesex have been forced to call on the Hampstead club to represent them in their pool at Bridgnorth, and Berkshire travel to Durham minus the nucleus of their county squad, who will be playing for Reading in the Cup.

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