M1 Draw 5-5 At Wimbledon After Home 4th Qtr Comeback
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men were thwarted by a stunning fourth quarter comeback as Wimbledon scored three goals in the final period to force a thrilling 5-5 draw at Raynes Park High School on Saturday night.
Surbiton had last drawn 5-5 in a Men's Hockey League regular season Premier Division game on 10 October 2009 at East Grinstead after trailing 5-3 with ten minutes to play.
And when the teams met in Phase One, it was Surbiton who had made a late comeback at Sugden Road to force a 2-2 draw.
However in the first meeting in the Top Six, Surbiton led 2-0 after just nine minutes, Jamie Golden opening the scoring in the seventh minute and Jack Middleton doubling the lead two minutes later, both goals coming from open play.
Wimbledon restored parity with two goals in a five minute spell, Ben Francis reducing the arrears from open play in the 19th minute and Ed Horler converting a penalty corner in the 24th minute.
Luke Taylor converted a penalty corner just before half time to give Surbiton a 3-2 interval advantage and when James Gall and Middleton extended Surbiton's lead to 5-2 with open play goals in the 36th and 43rd minutes respectively, it seemed that Wimbledon's three point lead over Surbiton in the Top Six, only opened up last weekend, was going to be closed again.
But in a thrilling fourth quarter for the home supporters, Wimbledon's penalty corner routine came to their rescue with David Condon converting twice in the 55th and 59th minutes and Horler snatching a point in the penultimate minute with another dramatic conversion to ensure honours were even after a ten goal exhibition in South West London.
Surbiton are third but Hampstead & Westminster moved back above Holcombe into fourth after they won 4-1 at East Grinstead under the Saint Hill floodlights. Hampstead stayed fourth after Old Georgians beat Holcombe 8-2 to extend their lead to ten points over second placed Wimbledon.
In the Bottom 5 on Sunday afternoon, the University of Exeter couldn't maintain their heroics of the previous week's 9-0 win at Durham University and lost 4-2 at home to Brooklands Manchester University, who now lead Exeter by nine points and Durham by six.
Beeston closed the gap to one point behind seventh placed Oxted after winning 2-1 in Surrey.