RUM TALE AT HEN PARTY

BEER to the Penguin International Mixed Hockey Festival is as mud to the football season and rain to the cricket. Inseparable, inescapable.

But 2005 may prove to have been a year of change. Rum may just have made its first move towards usurping (or should that be uslurping?) nectar as the mixed hockey player's tipple before, after, and — of course — during, the game.

One girl fulfilled a long ambition at Worthing. She brought her Beckenham HC girlfriends down en bloc, with a token inflatable plastic, somewhat gender-challenged male ("Ken"), and obtained special permission to play as all-female team.

Her name is Lizzie Greenwood, none other than TV presenter and reporter of children's Newsround: "I'm getting married next week to BBC London sports correspondent Geraint Hughes (her team will now fine her yet again for saying his forbidden name] and I've always wanted to have my hen party here across the whole Festival bank holiday weekend."

"Hockey's my favourite sport. I just love to play it."

For full report and pictures, see this week's Worthing Herald.