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