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M1 Top Pool B After Shootout Win Over Wimbledon


6th April 2024

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Men pipped Wimbledon to top spot in Pool B of the League Finals, winning a shootout 3-0 after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

The game can be watched back via the Surbiton Hockey Club channel on You Tube here

History repeated itself as Surbiton also won a shootout in the corresponding fixture last season, coming out on top 3-1 after a 4-4 draw at the end of 70 minutes.

The extra point in 2024 meant that Surbiton joined Wimbledon on seven points but finished top courtesy of their plus 7 goal difference compared with Wimbledon's plus 5 and earns a semi-final meeting with Hampstead & Westminster next Saturday, while Old Georgians face Wimbledon in a repeat of last season's last four matchup which ended goalless before Old Georgians won the shootout 4-3.

Ollie Stone made his Surbiton debut in a match in which former Surbiton goalkeeper Ore Ogunlana made some fine saves, including an excellent glove save from Gareth Furlong from Surbiton's second penalty corner, but was unlucky in the 23rd minute when Stuart Rushmere put the ball into the goal from a rebound after another save.

The goal came from an end to end attack down the right wing before Rushmere ran along Wimbledon's back-line and put away the rebound.

Wimbledon's equaliser also came from the right wing, the ball crossed for Euan Gilmour to gather the ball on the edge of the circle before moving towards goal and smashing the ball past James Mazarelo to equalise.

Both teams had four penalty corner opportunities with Wimbledon electing to play with an empty goal for the last six minutes in an attempt to find a winning goal, but the game ended 1-1 resulting in a shootout for the all important extra point.

Surbiton went first with Struan Walker scoring before Mazarelo saved from Duncan Scott.

Rob Farrington tried to outwit Ogunlana by rotating and scoring but the ball went well wide of the left post. Euan Gilmour's attempt to restore parity was thwarted by a foot offence.

Conor Williamson found the net to double Surbiton's lead to 2-0 before Jack Waller was thwarted by the post and a Mazarelo save. Stuart Rushmere had the opportunity to clinch the extra point and made no mistake to ensure that Surbiton pipped their local rivals.

Surbiton will face Hampstead & Westminster in the semi-finals after the Central London club clinched their place with a 4-2 home win over Beeston. Toby Vaughan, Sam French, Tom Crowson and Matt Guise-Brown scored for Hampstead who missed out on the League Finals weekend last season.

Old Georgians hosted Holcombe in a repeat of the 2023 season and were in trouble at half time as the Kent club led 2-1, Alex Pendle and Nick Bandurak turning the match around after Liam Sanford gave Old Georgians the lead. There was another twist in the second half as Henry Weir scored twice, either side of a goal from James Carson to seal a 4-2 win for Old Georgians and deny Holcombe a second successive League Finals weekend appearance.

Honours were even in the other Pool A match with Southgate drawing 3-3 with Oxted before Southgate won the shootout 3-1. Teague Marcano, Charles Hamilton and a last minute penalty stroke from Matt Ramshaw counted for the home side whilst Brad Sherwood, Michael Royden-Turner and Chris Webster replied for Oxted.

In the relegation playoffs, Reading were relegated after both matches ended 2-2. William Dibiase gave Nottingham the lead before Harrison Smith equalised for Reading immediately after half time. Louis Tipper restored Nottingham's lead from a penalty corner but Ben Mackey's last minute penalty corner equaliser wasn't enough to save the Berkshire club from relegation after two seasons back in the Premier Division.

Cardiff & Met stayed up in their maiden top flight season by holding East Grinstead to a 2-2 draw in Wales. Rhys Gowman and Jack Pritchard scored for Cardiff and Simon Faulkner and James Smith scored for East Grinstead, who had been safe from relegation from the start of the playoffs.

The schedule for the League Finals weekend will be published shortly.