Hockey: Incidents in Sheffield and Birmingham mar cup: Night-club disturbance leaves player in hospital with head injuries as troublemakers force tie to be abandoned

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The Independent Online
HOCKEY'S peace was disturbed by two separate incidents affecting yesterday's third round of the Hockey Association Cup. Trouble outside a Sheffield night-club on Saturday night left one player in hospital suffering from serious head injuries, while in Birmingham yesterday youths wielding baseball bats forced another match to be abandoned at half-time.

Stuart Ives was said to be in a critical condition when taken to Royal Hallamshire Hospital as the result of the night-club disturbance. Gore Court, from Kent, had travelled up overnight to play York but eventually the shocked club decided to concede the tie. Police are investigating the incident.

The police were also involved in Bournville's match against Blueharts, the Hertfordshire club. Bournville had switched the tie from their usual Birmingham University venue to a local schools pitch because of a Sky Television booking, but when the teams arrived there was a makeshift game of football going on.

The youths were eventually shooed off and the goal-nets repaired, but they had returned by the interval, this time armed with baseball bats and staves. The tie will now be replayed, but Bournville have had to concede home advantage.

Old Kingstonians and Formby, formerly in the top bracket, together with Crostyx and Harrogate, triumphed over PizzaExpress National League sides in the third round of the Hockey Association Cup when the top clubs entered the competition yesterday.

Crostyx's 3-0 win at Richmond, with goals from Nick Duck, Paul Dover and Tony Puddick, was the day's outstanding performance. Old Kingstonians, who scored through Matt Cox and Graham Allen, beat Cheltenham 2-1.

Wayne Graham, Oxford University's South African captain, left Formby trailing with an early goal, but Robin Benford equalised and Philip Capper put home the visitors' winner.

Hampstead and Westminster, two goals up in 22 minutes, had St Albans rocking before Andy Halliday struck with a hat-trick to give the Saints a 4-3 win.

Southgate, whose 6-0 win against Slough on Saturday saw them take over the First Division leadership on goal difference from Hounslow, beat Canterbury 3-0 with goals from Bill Waugh, Rupert Welch and Duncan Woods. Hounslow, the holders, join them in the next round following their 2-0 win at Neston.

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