‘Play-offs would be much fairer sys­tem for our league’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

AMER­SHAM & Chal­font Ladies’ head coach Sea­mus O’Con­nell has called for play-offs to be in­tro­duced in the Trys­ports Hockey League,

His side sit se­cond in Premier One, hav­ing only lost once all sea­son, but spurned the chance to make up ground on lead­ers Read­ing 2s on Satur­day when they drew 2-2 with them.

Had A&C won, and also won their game in hand, they would have drawn level with Read­ing, but in­stead still trail them by six points.

O’Con­nell said: “Only one team goes up, whereas at the same level for the men, they have play-offs, which is a much fairer sys­tem.

“To have no re­ward for com­ing se­cond is harsh and makes it dif­fi­cult, but just to be chal­leng­ing is a huge step for­ward for this young side and a big im­prove­ment on last sea­son.

“The other dif­fi­culty is we’re up against Read­ing’s se­cond team and they can, quite legally, bring in first team play­ers when they aren’t play­ing. But our game in hand is against Read­ing’s lo­cal ri­vals Son­ning, who are still not out of it in third, and Read­ing play them on the fi­nal day, so there will be more twists and turns to come.”

It could have been worse as A&C were 2-0 down at half time against Read­ing, but fought back af­ter the break to claim a point through goals from Alice Keddy and Melissa Humphris.

O’Con­nell added: “We ac­tu­ally had the chances to go on and win it, but to come back the way we did showed a lot of char­ac­ter.”

There are no such wor­ries for A&C’s men, who re­main nine points clear at the top of MBBO Divi­sion One and with a +77 goal dif­fer­ence, af­ter win­ning 14-0 at bot­tom side Ox­ford 3s.

James Easter and Ge­off Brown both hit hat-trick to take their sea­son’s tal­lies to 18 and 17 re­spec­tively, while Doug McA­teer, Tom McKin­ley and Chris Yox­all bagged braces. Fur­ther goals from Si­mon Archer and War­ren Scott com­pleted the scor­ing.

The ladies have a league and cup dou­ble header against Ayles­bury this week­end, while the men visit near­est ti­tle ri­vals Ram­garhia on Satur­day.

Amer­sham and Chal­font Hockey Club’s Melissa Humphris in ac­tion

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