Hockey: St Albans at home indoors

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ST ALBANS regained their Indoor Club Championship at Crystal Palace last night in an exciting final, although they were taken to a penalty-stroke shoot-out by the holders, East Grinstead. After drawing 2-2, St Albans won the shoot-out

6-5 with an outstanding diving save by Martin Langston from Bram van Asselt securing the title.

Grinstead, with a first- minute goal from Jason Lee after good approach work from Van Asselt, dominated the early exchanges before a ninth- minute equaliser from Ian Jennings at a corner. With just two minutes to the interval, the captain Andy Halliday, from another corner, put St Albans ahead.

A second-half goal from Van Asselt to level the score, and some brilliant goalkeeping by Langston and England's David Luckes, prevented further scoring to force the penalty shoot-out. Jennings, with four goals in both St Albans' 6-5 quarter-final win against Doncaster and in their semi-final against Stourport, was the scoring ace, but it was a spectacular goal from Halliday just after the interval in their 5-4 win against Stourport, and a goal-line save towards the end, which saw St Albans through to their ninth final.

HOCKEY ASSOCIATION INDOOR CLUB FINALS (Crystal Palace): Quarter-finals: St Albans 6 Doncaster 5; Stourport 5 Barford Tigers 3; Firebrands 3 Welton 4; East Grinstead 9 Lewes 3. Semi-finals: St Albans 5 Stourport 4; East Grinstead 4 Welton 2. Final: East Grinstead 2 St Albans 2 (St Albans won 6-5 on penalty strokes).

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