Hockey: Sherwani stiffens Staffs' staff: County champions acquire Olympian muscle

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The Independent Online
IMRAN SHERWANI is expected to return to the Staffordshire side for their quarter- final game against Shropshire in the final stages of the county championship programme, starting this morning at Sheffield HC. Sherwani, a gold medallist in Seoul, missed the earlier qualifying games and will team up with nine from the Cannock club, including the current internationals, Chris Mayer and Kalbir Takher, as Staffordshire

defend their title.

Staffordshire should have little difficulty in beating Shropshire, appearing in the quarter- finals for the first time, and look set for a semi-final place tomorrow against the winners of the Army v Cheshire game.

It will be a day out to Sheffield for the Crutchley family. Cheshire include brothers Bobby, Sam and Andy in their squad managed by father Peter. Another Seoul gold medalist, Martyn Grimley, captains the Cheshire side who should be too strong for the Army.

In the other half of the draw Surrey, based largely on the Surbiton and Guildford clubs under the player-coach, James Duthie, should be too powerful for Lancashire. In the fourth quarter-final, the young Nottinghamshire side face Essex, who, with the exception of their captain Mark Hickling, are without their Old Loughtonian players, who are training for next week's HA Cup final.

Nottinghamshire bring four of their Under-21 squad, Neil MacMillan, Stephen Wood, Adrian Lock and Mike Huckle, who were not available in the earlier games, into their squad and seem likely to line up against Surrey in the semi-finals.

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