Battle of first-timers in men's Upton, Quackers aim for another CI crown

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CRUSADERS will journey to Guernsey with a first hockey Upton title on their minds on Saturday, having taken over the reins from long-time contenders OVs Convicts.

After seeing off the challenge of their Rathbones Men’s Division I rivals in 2021/22 – three seasons after reforming – the defending Jersey champions are set to face fellow first-timers Yobbos at Footes Lane, for the right to have their name inscribed on the Paul Shenkman Shield.

The ladies Upton will also be contested, with Quackers – runners-up to boys squad Caesarean Flames in Ladies Division I last term – due to meet Panthers as they target back-to-back titles, following a 5-2 triumph over Colombian Puffins in 2019.

Both the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Quackers have welcomed familiar faces back into their ranks this season – including midfielder Fi Pereiras and defender Eve Taylor-Cox – while they boast the likes of Natacha Kay and her Island colleagues Jamey Henderson and Hannah Scriven.

They have made a solid start to the domestic season, winning their opening four games with three clean sheets.

Captain Emily Le Feuvre said: ‘While we were disappointed to miss out on the league title last season by the narrowest of margins, we are really excited to head over to Guernsey and have the opportunity to test ourselves against different opposition in this fixture. There will undoubtedly be a few nerves, but it looks like Guernsey have put on a great day’s hockey and entertainment so I just want the girls to enjoy the day.’

Other than an injury for Bobby Minty and the absence of Mike James, due to his selection for Wales over-45s in the Masters World Cup in South Africa, Crusaders are at full strength.

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