Sussex's Maddie Hinch has been named the UK's top player for the second year in a row.

Hinch, from West Chiltington, was a clear winner of a poll of hockey club members to scoop the Player of the Year Awards following her starring role in Great Britain's dramatic shoot-out triumph against the Netherlands in the Olympic final in Rio.

The 28-year-old saved all four of the Netherlands' attempts to clinch the gold medal after the game had finished 3-3 in normal time and came ahead of retiring GB captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb, the defender who scored the decisive shootout goal in the gold-medal match, in the pubic vote.

It is the third time Hinch has won the award having claimed it in 2013 and then again in 2015 following a similarly stunning shootout win for England over the Dutch in the final of the 2015 European championships at Olympic Park in London – a result that qualified Great Britain for the Rio Olympic Games.

Hinch said: “It is a great honour to pick up this award which is made extra special off the back of so many strong individual performances in Rio. It has been such a massive year for the team and there have been so many outstanding performances in the squad, for the Hockey Writers’ Club to vote for me out of everyone who did so well makes it more special than ever.

“It has been an incredible year for the team and for the sport in general. As a group, we knew we had the potential to beat anyone in the world. It was just a case of getting it all together at the right time – and Rio was the stage where it happened. We just put ourselves in our own little bubble over there, focused on ourselves and took it game-by-game. And it really worked.

“The reaction has been amazing. I have hardly met anyone who didn’t watch the final. After what was the most successful Team GB performance ever, for people to be picking out the hockey as the highlight of the Games is what we dream of as a group. We are just so pleased to inspire so many people to want to play the sport.”

Dan Fox won the men's award for the first time, just pipping GB team-mates Barry Middleton and George Pinner.