M1 On Cusp Of Super Sixes Finals Day Qualification
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men have all but qualified for Finals day on 2 February after winning both matches on the penultimate day of competition at Repton School.
A 7-3 win over Sevenoaks and a last gasp 5-4 win over Holcombe sees Surbiton top of the Super Sixes Premier Division table ahead of East Grinstead on goal difference and with matches against relegation threatened Canterbury and Bowdon to come on Sunday, Surbiton should qualify comfortably.
However, Reading, who opened up a three point lead over the bottom two clubs following their 6-4 win over Canterbury, made Surbiton battle to a 4-3 win last weekend, so nothing can be taken for granted.
Surbiton trailed for most of the first half against Sevenoaks after Sam George gave the Kent club a third minute lead. But goals from Alan Forsyth in the 18th and 19th minutes earned Surbiton a 2-1 half time lead.
Surbiton were pegged back in the 27th minute when David Smith equalised for Sevenoaks, but Surbiton scored three goals in the last three minutes of the third quarter to lead 5-2. Forsyth struck in the 28th and 30th minutes with Tom Sorsby also scoring in the 30th minute.
Theun De Leeuw scored Surbiton's sixth goal in the 38th minute but although George pulled a third goal back for Sevenoaks a minute later, David Goodfield scored Surbiton's seventh goal in added on time at the end of the match.
Holcombe made Surbiton battle before they could claim all three points, Nick Bandurak giving Holcombe the lead in the second minute. Surbiton's Zach Wallace turned the match around with goals in the eighth and 13th minutes as Holcombe trailed 2-1 at the interval.
Bandurak scored seconds into the second half to level things up at 2-2 before Forsyth scored another quick brace with goals in the 22nd and 24th minutes to give Surbiton a 4-2 advantage.
Bandurak completed his hat-trick in the 36th minute and then restored parity in the penultimate minute as Holcombe kept their qualification hopes alive.
However in the dying seconds, Forsyth converted a penalty corner to not only snatch a 5-4 win but claim his 22nd goal of the campaign, eight goals clear of nearest rivals Ed Horler and Rory Patterson, both with Wimbledon. Bandurak is two further back on twelve.
Going into day four, Surbiton and East Grinstead are on 15 points with Sevenoaks and Wimbledon on 12. Hampstead & Westminster and Holcombe are also in contention for a place at the Copper Box on 2 February on 10 points.
Reading are on four points with Bowdon on one and Canterbury yet to secure a point with two games to play.
Victory for Surbiton at 9 am on Sunday would see Canterbury relegated whilst Bowdon will need to beat Canterbury to have any chance of staying up.