M1 Are Fourth At Halfway Stage of Super 6s
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men are fourth in the Super 6s Championships Premier Division at the halfway stage building on Saturday's 4-3 loss to Wimbledon and 7-4 win over Repton by ending Old Georgians one hundred per cent record with a hard fought 4-4 draw and snatching a late 7-5 win over Holcombe on Sunday.
Surbiton will start the second weekend against leaders East Grinstead, who have won all four games on Saturday, followed by a match-up with eighth placed Hampstead & Westminster. On Sunday, Surbiton will play newly-promoted Exeter University, still looking for their first point after the first weekend before finishing up against sixth place Sevenoaks in their attempt to qualify for Finals Day.
Old Georgians had needed two late goals to beat Wimbledon 5-4 on Saturday, but couldn't quite snatch another late victory over Surbiton having led 3-0 after 18 minutes. Having bulldozed Hampstead & Westminster 10-2 in their first game on Sunday, open play goals from Nick Page in the fifth minute, former Surbiton player Alan Forsyth a minute later and Chris Griffiths in the 18th minute seemed to show that Old Georgians were in scintillating attacking form in the maiden season in the Premier Division.
However, Jamie Golden, back at Surbiton after playing for Beeston outdoors, had other ideas and after pulling a goal back a minute after Griffiths' strike, completed a hat-trick with two more open play goals in the 23rd and 30th minutes to make the score 3-3.
Forsyth was on target to scupper Surbiton's hopes of at least a point when he restored Old Georgians' lead from the penalty spot in the 31st minute, but up stepped Ben Park with two minutes remaining to salvage a point in an entertaining 4-4 draw.
Surbiton's final match of the weekend was also entertaining and will be remembered for Holcombe's tenacity in a game in which the Kent club led for the first time at 5-4 in the 37th minute only for Surbiton to score three goals in the last two minutes to grab a 7-5 win in a match in which the final scoreline didn't tell the whole story.
Holcombe had won their first match against Exeter University 4-3, but lost 4-3 to Repton and 9-5 to East Grinstead before facing Surbiton.
Holcombe trailed 2-0 after just nine minutes, Ben Park scoring from open play followed by Golden's penalty corner conversion. Holcombe were level within a minute of the second half, Sam Paterson pulling a goal back from a penalty corner in the 18th minute and Sam Taylor equalising from open play in the 21st minute.
Ben Stevenson restored Surbiton's lead in the 23rd minute, only for Taylor to strike for a second time in the 28th minute. On the half hour mark, Golden put Surbiton 4-3 ahead but Robert Field scored twice in the 32nd and 37th minutes to give Holcombe the lead and the prospect of a second win in the tournament.
Jonny Gall levelled from a 39th minute penalty corner and Surbiton's victory was sealed with two goals in the last minute, Rob Farrington and Gall both finishing from open play for what could prove to be an important victory in the quest for a Finals Day place.
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Division One has a tight promotion race with the top four teams separated by just three points. Brooklands Manchester University are in pole position on 12 points with Team Bath Buccaneers second on ten. Ashmoor and Canterbury are also in contention for promotion on nine points. At the bottom of the table, Ipswich and Doncaster are looking for their first points with Oxted just outside the relegation zone on three points and West Herts in sixth on four points.
In Division Two, Bowdon, Beeston and Khalsa Leamington have qualified for the National tournament after finishing in the top three in the North section. They will be joined by Southgate, Guildford and the University of Bristol; Guildford pipping Bristol to second place on goal difference after both teams finished on ten points.