M1 In Contention For Super Sixes Finals Place
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men are in contention for a Finals Day place at the halfway point of the Super Sixes Premier Division, in spite of losing their one hundred per cent record in a 5-3 loss to Wimbledon.
Hampstead & Westminster are the only team to have won all four games on the opening weekend in Repton, with Surbiton won of four teams three points behind, Wimbledon, Sevenoaks and East Grinstead also currently chasing a top four finish to reach the Finals.
Surbiton had been in stunning form on Saturday with a 12-1 win over Reading and a 10-1 victory over Holcombe and continued with a 8-0 win over East Grinstead on Sunday before stumbling against Wimbledon in their last match of the second day.
Against East Grinstead, Surbiton took control with three goals in the first eight minutes, Gareth Furlong, Arjan Drayton-Chana and Brendan Creed scoring the only goals of the first half.
Creed struck again immediately after half time, before Zach Wallace and Jamie Golden put Surbiton 6-0 up with just over ten minutes to play.
James Gall completed the scoring with a brace thanks to goals coming in the 31st and 34th minutes to keep the reigning champions on top of the Premier Division table.
Wimbledon had also been in good scoring form, beating Reading 7-1 and Brooklands Manchester University 12-1, their only defeat coming against Hampstead & Westminster in an 8-6 loss.
Surbiton trailed 2-0 at the end of the first quarter, Rhys Smith and Duncan Scott scoring for Wimbledon, but when James Gall and Golden equalised with quickfire goals in the 14th and 15th minutes, it seemed that the setback would only be temporary.
Wimbledon had other ideas, Liam Ansell and Ed Horler restoring their two goal advantage by half time, leaving Surbiton to face a 4-2 deficit going into the second half.
Wallace gave Surbiton hope with eight minutes to play, but Sam Hooper took the game away from Surbiton with a penultimate minute goal and even taking off their goalkeeper couldn't rescue Surbiton from their first defeat of the season.
The Premier Division will resume next week at Whitgift School, where Surbiton will take on Repton and Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday and Sevenoaks and Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday.
More information about the Premier Division tournament, including individual match details and associated statistics can be found at the England Hockey Altius website here