West Herts got their league season off to a flying start, as a double from newly-appointed captain Bill Gage propelled the men’s first team to a 4-1 win over Letchworth.

After a disappointing campaign in the National Hockey League last time out, West Herts are back in the Eastern Premier A and have enjoyed a positive pre-season on the pitch, which has seen them try to implement a new formation.

They started strongly against newly-promoted Letchworth and having won a series of penalty corners early on, their pressure would finally pay off when Gage calmly dispatched two drag flicks to hand the Stags an early lead.

Boosted by those two early efforts, West Herts really started to exert themselves and some fine hockey was almost rounded off by Steve George.

Their dominance continued following the restart and they would deservedly notch a third through George, who made up for his miss before half-time by converting Matt Sears’ cross.

But complacency from the team provided Letchworth with a route back into the game, as the home side pulled one back thanks to a free-flowing move on the counter.

However, West Herts would re-establish their three-goal advantage late on when another fine team move was finished off by Pete Corbridge to hand the first team a deserved win in their first match of the campaign.

The Stags will be hoping for similar fortunes when they take on Harleston Magpies on home soil this weekend.

West Herts’ second and third teams didn’t enjoy such good fortunes though, as they were comfortably beaten by Ipswich & East Suffolk and Broxbourne respectively.

However, the men’s fourth team got their campaign off to a flyer with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Rickmansworth away from home.

There was disappointment for the fifth and sixth sides though, who were narrowly edged out by both Bedford as well as Letchworth Xtra 5 respectively.

West Herts Ladies were unable to start their campaign in positive fashion after they were just edged out in a competitive match against Bromley & Beckenham in the East League Premier.

Despite a competitive showing, the Ladies were eventually defeated 7-5 in what proved to be an action-packed away fixture.

The Ladies’ second team were held by Letchworth, while the third team got their campaign off to a positive start with a 2-1 win over Tring.

West Herts Ladies’ fourth string were also victorious, comprehensively beating Harpenden 4-0, while the fifth team were defeated 7-1 away to Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead.