Back the Sevenoaks, big-gamers, insists Tim
Conference East round-up
CAPTAIN Tim Warrington is hoping that the fact his Sevenoaks side has already come up big in a high stakes, winner-takes-all clash means they are in for more celebrations before the season is out.
Sevenoaks travelled to top-of-the-table Teddington on Sunday for their final league game – the two sides both locked on 43 points, but the hosts at the summit on goal difference.
That meant that only a victory would see Sevenoaks advance to the promotion play-offs, and they got off to a great start as Andrew Ross scored from a penalty corner after just two minutes.
Hosts Teddington levelled through Tim Davenport on nine minutes, only for Ross to net again on the stroke of half-time.
Ross was then denied a hat-trick as he saw a goal disallowed, while Teddington – who knew a draw would be enough to claim top spot – levelled again with ten minutes remaining through Phil Lewis.
But Sevenoaks and Ross were not to be denied and with two minutes remaining he did complete his treble to see the visitors advance to face off against Team Bath Buccaneers, University of Durham and Canterbury for promotion to the Men’s Premier League.
And while he admits his side are heading into something of the unknown, Warrington isn’t about to rule anything out.
“We are absolutely delighted,” said Warrington. “We knew it was going to go one of two ways and thankfully it went our way, but credit to Teddington and you have to feel for them as it was a very competitive match.
“I spoke to our playercoach Duncan Parnis right after the game and he said that he was literally about to take our goalkeeper off and put on an outfield player before we scored our third, so we were prepared to throw the kitchen sink at it.
“Andrew has been great all season and he has stepped up to the plate for us quite a lot and scored a lot of goals.
“He actually had a goal disallowed that would have made it 3-1 and given us some breathing space but he has a habit of coming up big and he did it again.
“We don’t know too much about the teams we are playing but we will talk to a few of our contacts and get some pointers and be ready for our first game against Bath.
“The game on Sunday was essentially a play-off game as we knew we had to win, so hopefully that experience will mean we are prepared for the next few games and we can use that to our advantage as we know we can handle and thrive under that pressure.”
In the other big final game of the Conference East, Indian Gymkhana won 4-2 at Wapping to ensure they live to fight another day.
Victory for Wapping would have seen them lift themselves off the bottom and leapfrog Indian Gymkhana into ninth and secure a spot in the relegation play-offs.
But they couldn’t have asked for a worse start as the hosts found themselves three goals down inside 20 minutes with Hayden Beltz netting twice and Marius Jonas Gemmel scoring from a penalty corner.
Wapping did threaten a comeback with two Ben Bull goals seeing them trailing by just one goal, but Marcus Mahne added another for Indian Gymkhana to condemn the home side to relegation.
Elsewhere, Southgate finished third on goal difference as two goals from Simeon Bird and one apiece from John Sterlini and Andrew Westbrook helped them to a 4-2 home win over Brighton and Hove.
And fourth-placed Cambridge City ended their season with a 5-2 win against Oxted, whilst Richmond came from behind to beat West Herts 3-2.