M1 And Old Georgians Generate A Six Goal Thriller
By Colin Pike
Local rivals Surbiton Men and Old Georgians served up a six goal thriller as the teams met for the first time at Sugden Road in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division.
A massive crowd saw the teams fight out a 3-3 draw on an afternoon when emotions were also high as Great Britain international, Sam Ward made his club comeback, wearing goggles after suffering an horrific eye injury at the Olympic Qualifiers at Lee Valley.
It was therefore fitting that it was Ward who earned a vital point for the St. George's College club, who, just as in the first meeting, came from two goals down, but this time didn't concede a late winner.
Surbiton made a brisk start, Ben Boon putting away Forsyth's cross from the right in the third minute.
When Forsyth doubled Surbiton's lead in the 14th minute, the league leaders looked to be well on course to resuming their winning run after last week's draw at Hampstead & Westminster.
Six minutes before half time, Old Georgians' goalkeeper George Pinner was left in agony after a collision with Surbiton's Arjan Drayton Chana left him on all fours and crying out.
Fortunately after a break in play and treatment from the physio, Pinner was able to keep his place in goal although it took some minutes for the pain to subside.
A minute before half time, Lee Morton, who had pegged back Surbiton's 3-1 lead to 3-3 in the first game, gave the newly promoted visitors hope when he pulled a goal back from open play.
However when James Royce finished in emphatic fashion in the 44th minute, falling to his knees in celebration, Surbiton were back on course for victory.
Shortly afterwards, some of the floodlights failed, but the light was considered good enough to play in and Matt Richards proved the point by scoring Old Georgians' second goal right at the end of the third quarter.
With four minutes remaining, Old Georgians were awarded their fourth penalty corner, and Ward gave the large number of visiting supporters something to cheer as well as achieving another step on the road to recovery.
The game was an excellent example of how to play hockey and although Surbiton lost Tom Sorsby and James Gall to yellow cards in the last ten minutes, the two matches so far indicate that the Surbiton-Old Georgians rivalry should be of interest in future seasons.
Surbiton now lead Wimbledon by eight points with four games to play. Wimbledon beat East Grinstead 7-2.
Hampstead & Westminster kept pace with a 5-0 win over Reading and Holcombe won 4-3 at Beeston.
The University of Exeter boosted their chances of avoiding relegation, moving up to eighth with a 3-2 win at Brooklands Manchester University.
On Sunday, Surbiton visit East Grinstead (push back 2.30 pm). Old Georgians host Hampstead & Westminster; the University of Exeter go to Beeston; it's Holcombe's turn to go to Brooklands and Reading are at home to Wimbledon.