It’s re­lief for Chi’s Pacey as Buc­ca­neers take the ti­tle

Con­fer­ence West round-up

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - By An­drew Law­ton

CHICHESTER’S di­rec­tor of hockey Mark Pacey is de­ter­mined to avoid an­other rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight next year, af­ter just es­cap­ing the dreaded play­offs as Team Bath Buc­ca­neers won the Con­fer­ence West.

The re­lief was there for all to see at the fi­nal whis­tle at King­sham as a 5-0 vic­tory for Chichester over Old Ge­or­gians, and a 5-3 de­feat for Fare­ham to Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham, saw them to safety.

In­stead, it will be Fare­ham who will be head­ing into the rel­e­ga­tion play-off af­ter Si­mon Trem­lett’s 68th-minute penalty corner earned Isca a vi­tal 1-1 draw at rel­e­gated Univer­sity of Bris­tol.

Hav­ing started the af­ter­noon in sev­enth, Fare­ham saw Isca and Chichester jump above them on the fi­nal day.

At the other end of the table, a com­pre­hen­sive 7-0 win for the Buc­ca­neers se­cured the ti­tle and sent them into the pro­mo­tion play-offs along­side Sevenoaks, Can­ter­bury and Durham Univer­sity.

The re­sult in Chichester was rarely in doubt af­ter the open­ing ten min­utes as the rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened hosts raced into a 3-0 lead with a blis­ter­ing start.

Alex Pen­dle got the ball rolling when he stormed in­side the D and fired a thun­der­bolt into the top right corner af­ter just two min­utes, and Luke Em­mett dou­bled the lead soon af­ter.

Alex Thakore made it three af­ter seven min­utes when he cut in from the right and fired a bul­let home, be­fore An­drew Sparshott and Ol­lie Bax­ter added their names to the score­sheet.

And af­ter their fourth win of the cam­paign saw them to safety, Pacey ad­mit­ted his play­ers were look­ing for­ward to a wel­learned rest over the sum­mer.

“They were elated at the fi­nal whis­tle, they are grate­ful and thank­ful that the sea­son has come to the end. It’s only 18 games but it’s gru­elling,” Pacey said.

“They were very, very happy; they got them­selves out of a hor­ri­ble spot and I know that ev­ery­one, this year, is look­ing for­ward to a break.

“The side was ner­vous but they had been there be­fore so they knew what they had to do. They had to win and rely on the other sides not get­ting the win, and, as it hap­pened, nei­ther did.

“We got what we de­served. We were re­ally up for it and were 3-0 up in seven min­utes. I think, in fair­ness, Old Ge­or­gians were there to play the sea­son out.

“But we needed the win, took the game straight to them and were in con­trol for the whole game. Five-nil was prob­a­bly about right and their keeper kept it down to that.”

For cham­pi­ons Bath, Adam Croutear scored a hat-trick and Ben Stone added two while Will Hewer and Stu­art Rush­mere also net­ted as they eased past Chel­tenham to top the league.

It meant there was noth­ing that Cardiff & Met could do as they fought back from 4-2 down to salvage a 4-4 draw away at Univer­sity of Ex­eter with two suc­cess­ful penalty cor­ners.

Mark Loughrey, Ed­ward Matts and Max Heaver had put the hosts 3-1 up with Jack Pritchard re­ply­ing for Cardiff & Met.

Ben Car­less saw his penalty corner can­celled out by Ben Francis’ penalty stroke, but two more penalty cor­ners within a minute of each other for Owain Dolan Gray and Luke Hawker earned Cardiff a draw.

Univer­sity of Birm­ing­ham sneaked up to fourth with a 5-3 vic­tory over Fare­ham as they replied to Chris Davey’s opener with three of their own to lead af­ter 21 min­utes.

Robert Wil­son pulled one back for Fare­ham but penalty cor­ners from Ge­orge Sweet­ing and Jack Clee made the game save for the Mid­lands side be­fore James Evans’ con­so­la­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.