Is it the end of an era for Gymkhana?
DESPITE having around 100 years of goalkeeping experience between the sticks, the relegation play-off between Oxton and Indian Gymkhana turned into a strikers’ dream.
Former Great Britain and England keeper Simon Mason, 44, was on duty for Indian Gymkhana while at the opposite end of the pitch was former Wales custodian Chris Ashcroft, still nimble at 57.
And it was the Oxton man – who played for Neston in the inaugural National League season back in 1988 – who had the better day as his side edged home 4-3.
The result means Gymkhana are hanging on to their National League status by a thread as a victory for Oxton against Fareham this weekend would keep them in the Conference North and send the Londoners tumbling down to the regional competition of the South League.
Indian Gymkhana have been in the National League since its inception but endured a tough season in Conference East.
They won only two matches to finish second-bottom and sacked coach Ian Jennings during the Christmas break.
Ahead 2-1 at the interval, Gymkhana had scored though penalty corners from Marcus Mahne, while Jonathan Hodgkinson had responded in kind for Oxton.
However, after halftime a second from Hodgkinson, plus open-play goals from Alistair McKenzie and Mark Worrall gave the visitors the edge and a last-minute strike from David Rae proved too little too late.
In the Investec Women’s League playoff, Exe took control of the second half to power to a 5-2 win over West Herts.
The match was evenly poised at 2-2 at half-time but three penalty corner conversions gave the Conference West side the advantage.
Miranda Hall and Anna Coppel were the West Herts scorers while Sarah Payne, Clare Whitworth Emma Ross and two strikes from Emily Mitchem put Exe in pole position.
Conference North outfit Timperley join the fray this weekend.
Old guard: Simon Mason was in goal