Back the Sevenoaks, big-gamers, in­sists Tim

Con­fer­ence East round-up

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - By Ben Baker

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.

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