It was a new league, new captain and a new season for the Upminster first team as they took on Bourne Deeping 1s to kick off the season.
Bourne started strong, exploiting Upminster’s attacking desire to score a goal in the first few minutes, but the momentum shifted as Upminster pummelled through the Bourne defence on the wings, scoring three goals to make it 3-1 by half-time.
Barrelling into the second half, the lead was quickly increased to 4-1 after converting a penalty corner into a goal.
They capitalised on a couple of defensive errors to almost level the game to 4-3. Despite their best efforts, Bourne were unable to break through a now composed Upminster defence and the game was finally put to bed with two more Upminster goals.
The second team secured a 4-2 win over Southend thanks to goals from Ellis Pickering, Nick O’Dell, Callam Berry and Russell Murphy.
The thirds lost heavily away to Old Loughtonians, but a consolation goal for the U’s was scored from Aidan Hewitt.
Upminster’s 4th XI fell to a 4-1 defeat at Rochford as their league season began on a chilly and blustery Saturday afternoon in south Essex. Rochford dominated possession in the early stages, but they rarely threatened the Upminster goal, with keeper Matt Chapman only being called into action once early on.
A short corner was not cleared and the Rochford player was allowed too much time on the ball before powering home the opener.
Paul Middlemiss injected a corner and O’Donohue found his range to bring the teams level.
Chapman made a good save to deny the home side from a well constructed attack, but the relief was short lived as a well worked short corner saw Rochford go in front again with 15 minutes remaining.
Rochford put the game to bed though with ten minutes remaining and as Upminster legs became a little heavy the home side added some gloss to the scoreline with a fourth.
The fifths won 9-0 away at Braintree thanks to four goals from Sean Richardson on his Upminster debut Paul Scott and Lester Farrant both grabbing braces and Alex Perry getting one.
The ladies started the season with a new head coach Allan Dick and are looking to bounce straight back to East Prem.
First up was a tricky away trip to Letchworth Hockey Club where the U’s managed to come away with a battling 2-1 win with both goals coming from Lauren Slater-Harvey.
Ladies 2s battled back from going two early goals down to come away with a 4-3 win against Witham Hockey Club.
A brace from Izzy Uzal and one each from Kerry Hodges and Claire Dixey secured all 3 points while the thirds, fourths and fifths all played out 2-2 draws and the sixth team won 4-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Mali Tookey and another from Amber Freeman.