Horsham trio help England to medals in Masters Championships

Fran Crossley (gold medal winner), Suzy Clapp (silver medal winner) and Sue Crake (gold medal winner).
Fran Crossley (gold medal winner), Suzy Clapp (silver medal winner) and Sue Crake (gold medal winner).

Three Horsham hockey players stuck it to their opponents to help England achieve glory in the European Masters Championships.

Sue Crake, Fran Crossley and Suzy Clapp were all representing different age groups at the ladies’ tournament held at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club in Chigwell.

Ninty-two teams took part from ten European nations at four different venues, featuring men and women from age 40 to over 75.

The trio, who all play for Horsham, helped their respective sides to medals with Crake and her England team-mates winning gold in the over-55s, Crossley securing gold in the over-45s and Clapp winning sliver in the over-40s.

All three ladies scored goals in the competitions with Crake and Crossley netting against the Dutch and Clapp on target against Spain and Wales.

The over-55s won all their games to become European champions, the over-45s won three games and lost one but still became champions, while the over-40s were runners-up despite winning four games and losing just one.

Crake said: “The whole European experience was amazing. It was fantastic to play the tournament at home so friends and family were able to come and support.

“I feel extremely proud to say that I played for my country and to win the gold medal was the icing on the cake.”

The week started with an evening reception for all players and officials in London and the trio then stayed with their teams close to their Essex-based matches.

The Old Loughts club was used as the training venue for the hockey competition in the 2012 Olympic Games and has two new FIH Olympic pink and blue water-based pitches, laid to the same specifications as the Olympic pitches.

The event was hosted by England Hockey alongside the men and women’s main EuroHockey Championships at Lee Valley in the Olympic Park.

Crake has also been selected for the World Cup next March and April, which is being held in Canberra. Crossley and Clapp are still awaiting the announcement of the squads for their age groups.

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