Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
Surbiton 3 Old Georgians 3 (Sat)
East Grinstead 0 Surbiton 5 (Sun)
Surbiton need one more point to claim a first place finish for the second season running, after being held to a 3-3 home draw by Old Georgians on Saturday and winning 5-0 at East Grinstead on Sunday.
On Saturday, the focus was on the return of Sam Ward to a hockey pitch after suffering a horrific eye injury during the Olympic Qualifiers at Lee Valley. Ward not only scored late against Surbiton to secure a point for Old Georgians but he also scored in Sunday’s 3-1 home loss to Hampstead & Westminster.
In front of a massive crowd at Sugden Road, for the second time this season, Old Georgians came back from 3-1 down to level at 3-3 but unlike in the first match, didn’t concede a heartbreaking fourth goal.
Surbiton took the lead in the third minute, Alan Forsyth setting up the goal chance for Ben Boon before Forsyth turned from goal provider to goal scorer in the 14th minute to double the hosts’ lead.
Old Georgians had a scare when goalkeeper George Pinner screamed out in agony whilst on all fours after a collision with Surbiton’s Arjan Drayton Chana, but fortunately he recovered.
Lee Morton, scorer of the two goals which saw Surbiton’s 3-1 lead in the first match quickly evaporate, struck in the 34th minute to put Old Georgians back in the match at half time, however James Royce’s open play strike in the 44th minute restored Surbiton’s two goal advantage.
Matt Richards gave the visitors more hope with a goal late in the third quarter before Ward stepped up to convert a penalty corner with four minutes left to delight the large number of Old Georgians’ supporters in the crowd.
Surbiton found the going easier at East Grinstead on Sunday. Lee Taylor’s ninth minute penalty corner drag-flick, a sublime finish from Drayton Chana in the 20th minute and Forsyth’s strike with three minutes to play giving them a comfortable 3-0 half time lead.
A powerful penalty corner conversion from Royce five minutes after the interval and Rob Farrington’s goal five minutes from time, formally ended East Grinstead’s faint hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster kept up their battle for second and third place as they won both their matches over the weekend, Wimbledon thrashing East Grinstead 7-2 and winning 3-1 at Reading, with Hampstead beating Reading 5-0 before coming away from Old Georgians with a 3-1 victory.
Reading’s double defeat leaves them four points behind ninth placed Brooklands Manchester University, overtaken by the University of Exeter following the Devon club’s 3-2 win in Sale. Brooklands then drew 1-1 at home to Holcombe whilst Exeter suffered a last gasp 2-1 defeat at Beeston. Holcombe had won 4-3 at Beeston on Saturday.
Surbiton v Old Georgians
Scorers: Ben Boon 3-F, Alan Forsyth 14-F, James Royce 44-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Tom Sorsby, Ben Boon, Jonny Gall (Capt.), Jonty Griffiths,
Zach Wallace, James Royce, Alan Forsyth, David Goodfield, James Gall.
Subs: Arjan Drayton Chana (7 mins), Sam Spencer (7), Rob Farrington (9), Conor Williamson (12), Theun De Leeuw (14).
Cards: Green: James Gall (48 mins). Yellow: Tom Sorsby (63 mins), James Gall (67 mins).
Scorers: Lee Morton 34-F, Matt Richards 53-F, Sam Ward 66-PC
Squad: George Pinner (GK); Andy Bull, Liam Sanford, Tom Carson, James Tindall, Dan Shingles, Sam Ward, Lee Morton, James Albery, Ashley Jackson, Tim Atkins.
Subs: Will Carter Keall (7 mins), Keenan Horne (9), Matt Richards (10), Edward Fleet (12),
Thomas Doran (Capt.) (16 mins).
Cards: Green: Will Carter Keall (49 mins).
Match Official: Richard Chere
Umpires: Nick White and Nick Padget
East Grinstead v Surbiton
Squad: Patrick Smith (GK); Luke Emmett, Daniel Faulkner, Lewis Prosser, Chris Griffiths,
Sam Hatherley, Tijn van Groesen, Simon Faulkner (Capt.), Ben Mackey, Matthew Blood, Liam Ansell.
Subs: Alistair Clift (7 mins), Dylan Holland (7), Rob Cope (7), Barney Bithell (9), Joe Farmer (9).
Cards: Green: Liam Ansell (30 mins).
Scorers: Luke Taylor 9-PC, Arjan Drayton Chana 20-F, Alan Forsyth 32-F, James Royce 40-PC,
Rob Farrington 65-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Ben Boon, Jonny Gall (Capt.), Jonty Griffiths, Zach Wallace, James Royce, Alan Forsyth, David Goodfield, James Gall, Tom Sorsby.
Subs: Sam Spencer (5 mins), Arjan Drayton Chana (7), Rob Farrington (8), Conor Williamson (10 mins), Theun De Leeuw (22 mins).
Cards: Green: James Gall (61 mins).
Match Official: David Rigby
Umpires: Oliver Jones and Nick White
by Colin Pike