Men’s Hockey League Championships Final – 14 April 2019
SURBITON 1–3 HAMPSTEAD & WESTMINSTER
Scorer: Tom Sorsby 52-F
Squad: Harry Gibson (GK); Luke Taylor, Ben Boon, Jonny Gall (Capt.), David Beckett, Zach Wallace, James Royce, Alan Forsyth, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, James Gall.
Subs: Tom Sorsby (5 mins), Arjan Drayton-Chana (5), Nick Parkes (5), Hayden Beltz (7), Sam Spencer (8), Lewis Prosser (10).
Sub not used: Taylor Seager-Green (GK).
Umpires: Dan Barstow and Paul Walker
Surbiton Men were denied a hat-trick of Men’s Hockey League Championships titles by London rivals, Hampstead & Westminster in a thrilling final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Defences were on top for most of the first quarter before Matt Guise Brown converted a penalty corner in the 15th minute. The penalty corner had to be retaken after a break from the line and the clock was reset as a result. Eventually Guise-Brown’s shot ended up in the netting above the backboard having eluded Surbiton’s defenders.
Surbiton thought they’d equalised in the 21st minute, but Brendan Creed’s goal was disallowed as the ball was judged not to have left the circle.
Hampstead went further ahead in the 35th minute, Guise Brown scoring again from a penalty corner.
Surbiton got on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute when Tom Sorsby scored from the left of the circle with a shot which was deflected off a defender’s stick.
With two minutes and twenty-four seconds remaining, Luke Taylor was installed as a kicking back as a last resort to earn a equaliser and force a shootout, but the tactic backfired in the last minute when Sam French put the ball in the empty net from a breakaway attack to give Hampstead their first ever MHL Championships title.
Hampstead included former Surbiton players, Will Calnan, Steve Kelly and Rupert Shipperley in their squad.
Surbiton will have a local derby with Old Georgians next season after the Conference East champions were promoted to the MHL Premier Division. The University of Exeter kept their place in the top flight for another season.
More information about the men’s tournament can be found at the England Hockey Altius website