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Numbers increase at Festival

By Herald Express  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

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ENTRIES are up for this year's Torbay Easter Hockey Festival, which swings into action on Good Friday.

Sixteen teams have signed up for the tournament – up two on 2013 – which runs until Bank Holiday Monday on pitches all over South Devon.

Nine of the teams taking part having clocked up more than 50 years at the tournament, which started life in 1951 as the Paignton Hockey Festival.

Sadly, one of the last links with the early years of the festival is no longer around.

John Grundy, a founder member and immediate past president, died last year. He was a Welsh international in his heyday and a teacher at the long-defunct Montpellier School in Paignton.

Games are played on the artificial surfaces at Clennon Valley in Paignton, Shiphay Manor in Torquay and Dawlish Leisure Centre.

Festival headquarters is the Redcliffe Hotel on Paignton sea front, where a civic reception is being held on Saturday night.

The festival starts with the traditional 'bully-off' between Miss Torbay Alexandra Ferwell and Torbay Council chairman Julien Parrott.

The first games get under way at 10am at Shiphay and Dawlish and 10-15 at Clennon Valley.

Torbay HC play under the Torreadors banner at Festival time. They start with a lunchtime game against Wolves at Dawlish.

Wolves, who hail from Wolverhampton, were last year's leading goal scorers and Bill Stickles Cup winners with 44

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